Restaurant Review: Nineteen Brunch at Caravelle Saigon

From delectable seafood and mouthwatering roasts to decadent desserts, the Caravelle’s NINETEEN brunch buffet is a must

A four-foot long salmon resting beautifully on a platter of buttery white wine sauce, accompanied by over a dozen giant mussels, presided over the entrance of restaurant NINETEEN at Caravelle Saigon (19 – 23 Lam Son Square, D1), luring me and my companion into a paradise of unlimited indulgence.

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Once we pass the salmon we find ourselves in an elegant, modern space designed as a culinary tour.

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One section housed the cured meats and carving station with Spanish ham, salamis and an eye-popping array of French cheeses, including goat, tomme de savoie and wonderful brie—spread this on the freshly baked bread that accompanies it to start one of the best Sunday brunches in Saigon.

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The highlight of the buffet was strategically placed in the center of the restaurant: cuts of perfectly marbled meats and fresh seafood ready to be grilled or steamed to my liking.

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Tuna, salmon, oysters, crab, lamb, an assortment of shish kebabs and lobster— all deliciously unlimited!

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As a fan of surf-and-turf, I ordered a lobster and grilled lamb chops. The lobster was a grandiose buttery, juicy affair, tender and perfectly cooked. The lamb chops were absolutely perfect, with a layer of golden decadent fat around the edges, complementing the tenderness of the meat itself.

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Located behind the raw meats and seafood, we found the artfully arranged cooked meats: American roast beef, honey glazed Virginia ham and stuffed roasted chicken served alongside several sauces and gravies (my favorites were the traditional gravy and the mushroom gravy.) If you’re like me and crave the all-American Thanksgivings and Christmas dinners from back home then this is the stop for you. The honey glazed ham was just like my Grandma’s ham that I used to wait all year to get my fingers on—it was sweet, it was tender and it melted in my mouth. The roast beef, doused in a ladle full of gravy, was also a mouthful of delicious nostalgia. At this point we decided to enjoy our bottomless glasses of sparkling wine and take a short break from eating.

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Before wrapping up our three-hour long brunch, we headed over to the sushi section before ending at the desserts station. The dedicated sushi masters behind the counter rolled and sliced expertly to keep the sushi station continuously filled. There were tuna and salmon sashimi, as well as a plethora of different rolls, all of which tasted out-of-the-ocean fresh.

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I then ordered a delicious cup of Lavazza coffee and walked over to the dessert island. The inviting aromas from the red velvet cakes, flowing chocolate fountain, fresh fruits and beautifully decorated puddings were sweetly sinful. Having overindulged on too many savory dishes I opted for a small mango mousse cake that was a masterpiece of taste just as much as it was a visual delight.

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Spending an entire Sunday afternoon with friends enjoying delicious unlimited food and drinks surrounded by topnotch service at NINETEEN is now on my top five things to do on the weekend.

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The NINETEEN Sunday Brunch buffet is priced at VND1,490,000++ with unlimited flow of champagne, craft cocktails, selected house wine and beer; VND1,090,000++ with unlimited flow of selected sparkling wine, craft cocktails, selected house wines and beer; VND990,000++ with unlimited flow of non-alcoholic cocktails, soft drinks and juices, excluding alcoholic beverages; and VND890,000++ excluding beverages.

From now until the end of August, for bookings of five people or more, from two of the four package options (VND890,000++ and VND1,490,000++), guests will receive a 20 percent discount.

IMAGES BY NGOC TRAN

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