Innovative Japanese-Chinese cuisine at Saigon’s latest chic dining space
Le Meridien ’s Bamboo Chic (Level 9, Le Méridien Saigon, 3C Ton Duc Thang, D1; 12pm – 1am daily) may just be getting warmed up, but it has arrived in Ho Chi Minh City at the right time. From the décor to the dishes, Bamboo Chic hits classy, well-pitched tones at the extremes of good taste and tunes in to the resonance of the space in between. In terms of the interior, this translates to a very comfortable approach to fine dining – plush bubble chairs stand for high-backs as you kick back and enjoy a five-star meal without the white tablecloth.
Diners start their meal with a free welcome drink of the day – we had a curiously flavorsome cranberry juice with vanilla in a shot glass – but consider yourself well-advised to follow that up with a real cocktail from the bar. Part of the pizazz of the Bamboo Chic concept is a certain boldness when it comes to its menu items, and in the case of beverages this extends to a healthy and inventive take on contemporary mixology. We had a Bamboo signature cocktail of light and dark rum with pineapple and citrus as well as a very fruity gold mojito with mango – both VND160,000.
One of the dangers of feasting on healthy Japanese/East Coast Chinese fusion food is that there tends to be little incentive for dining in moderation, and so we decided to gleefully indulge. We started with a paradigm of this crossover cuisine – a Peking duck sushi roll, paired with another variety using crispy filo prawn (VND190,000). Served on a checkered plate like chess pieces, this dish was an immediate eye-opener – easy on the rice and big on moist, tasty filling.
Hand rolls are a relatively fashionable member of the sushi pantheon these days – Bamboo Chic’s version is intriguing here for using a braised beef cheek reminiscent of the French tradition topped with seared scallop medallions (VND230,000). We followed this with one further taste-tester before our mains – a vegetable wakame salad (VND150,000) that deliberately blends diverse and opposing tastes and textures to achieve a Zen of the in-between – citrus, creamy avocado, sesame dressing, edamame beans, and seaweed. Take these elements together in each bite to explore the realms at the edges of your sense of taste.
With new Executive Chef Frederic Meynard in the kitchen, Bamboo Chic recently opened for lunch with 3 Business Set menus to choose from starting at VND200,000++, along with a Build Your Own Menu section with dishes starting at VND90,000++. With big ticks for class, comfort, healthy cuisine and that stellar view, this venue simply cannot fail to impress colleagues or clients.
Images By Ngoc Tran