Friday, 6 June 2014

India Se Vietnam Tak

Everyone knows that a true foodies loves to try out all the different kinds of food.
May it be Chinese from the east, Italian from the north west or the simple food from the country of Vietnam.

Recently it came to my notice, that Sofitel - Mumbai was having a Vietnamese Food Festival, in which Chef Dao Van Son came all the way from Vietnam in order to show the authenticity of the food.

He has worked with great chefs all over the world, also worked with 2 restaurants having Michelin Star which is an ultimate dream of a chef to work or have one himself. He is currently working as the Executive Sous Chef at Sofitel Saigon Plaza, Hoh Chi Minh City, Vietnam. His creations are with basic ingredients, traditional spices and more to the roots, with clean flavors.

After learning and doing some research about Vietnamese cuisine, what I noticed was that the food with made with simple ingredients and is healthy along with aromas and lovely flavors.

It feels so great when you receive an invitation to enjoy and experience the food at the Vietnamese Food Festival at Sofitel - Mumbai. Excited and waiting for the day to come so that I can enjoy another delicacy

'Pondicherry - The Cafe' was the restaurant where the experience took place. I visited the cafe and was greeted and taken to the seat, where the Restaurant manager came and gave us an idea about the festival. I got to meet Chef Dao Van Son and spoke to him, but due to bit of a language barrier, it was difficult to communicate much, but there is a saying 'Food Doesn't Need A Language' 

Chicken Pho
After looking at the range of vietnamese food, it all started with the well known dish 'Pho', it was brought by the chef himself, which is an honor for a person like me.
The dish was a soup, with the perfect chicken broth, the perfect boiled chicken and the flat noodles along with the accompaniments which altogether made it a perfect dish.
This was like one of the best soup I have had till date. The flavors were simple, there was a spiciness and a bit of sourness from the lemon.

Lychee Martini

To accompany every food, there is a drink to go with it. When it is about Vietnamese food, how can the fruit 'Lychee' not be used. We had the Lychee Martini which looks quite amazing and tasted like it looked, but the alcohol content was a bit more which was killing the lychee flavor.

Shrimp and Vegetable Spring Roll with Peanut Sauce

I wasnt done with the soup also, chef brought in another delicacy from his kitchen made for us, it was the 'Shrimp spring rolls with homemade peanut sauce'.
The rolls had an amazing freshness which came from the vegetables and the peanut sauce complimented the rolls beautifully due to the buttery texture and the nutty flavor. One negative point that was there in the rolls was the rice paper in which the veges and the shrimps were rolled was a bit chewy.

The salad display counter

For the Vietnamese Fest, there was a huge variety of food kept on the counter from which one was the salad counter. It was decorated beautifully and looked amazing. There were variety of salads from the region of Vietnam displayed on the counter.

Chicken and Pineapple Salad
One of the salads was, the Chicken and Pineapple Salad, sounded weird but tasted amazing, the sweetness from the pineapple and the spiciness from the chillies was just a perfect balance.
Vegetable Salad With Tuna

Another salad was the Vegetable salad with Tuna. The salad consisted simple ingredients but was full of flavor and had an amazing texture from the crunchy vegetables.

Green Mango Salad with Seafood

Green Mango is one of those fruits which I love. When I saw this salad, I had to take it and give it a try. There was an additional bonus with the green mango, seafood.
The salad had some shrimps and squid. I dint get the taste of raw mango much, that sourness was missing, it was the only thing missing, if that sourness would have been there, it would have been a perfect salad.

Sauteed Noodles With Bean Sprout
Noodles are one of the staple foods of the Vietnamese cuisine.
Here the noodles were just simple, tossed with bean sprouts and had some vietnamese flavor to it.
I enjoyed the noodles, it was one of those dishes I enjoy eating and specially when using the chop sticks.

Fried Rice With Vegetables 

When it comes to fried rice, I like a some garlic and spicy, after all, almost every Indian loves spicy food.
The Rice here was great in texture, due to the vegetables in it but taste wise it was lacking something. 

Sauteed Baby Corn With Mushroom

Mushrooms being my favorite dint let me move ahead without taking a serving of this. It tasted amazing, the garlic flavor which i wanted, the spiciness which i needed and the flavor had to be there.
It was one of the best i had here.

Sauteed Bok choy with Garlic

Not a big fan of simple vegetables, which made me skip the Sauteed Bok Choy with garlic.
Another reason for me not having the dish was, it didn't look very appealing to be honest.

Grilled Chicken With Spices

Chicken, one of the meats which everyone loves, also it is one of the most selling meat.
Here there was amazing Grilled Chicken with Spices and it was juicy, moist and tender.
The flavors were amazing, and i was thinking, how can an amazing dish be created with simple ingredients.

Braised Duck in Light Curry Sauce

When i was working, there use to be duck made everyday and i use to eat it almost everyday.
Here I couldnt miss the Braised Duck in Light Curry Sauce.
Some how the curry wasn't that great, but the duck meat was as usual amazing and so tender.

A meal is never complete without having some dessert. Being a sweet lover I had to try the desserts from Vietnam.
Being unknown about the Vietnamese food, and the dessert served, I tired out the desserts kept.

Vietnamese Desserts

There was fresh fruits green bean in consommé, coconut and lotus in jelly, coffee jelly, orange jelly.

The fresh fruit green bean in consommé dint look that appealing, so I dint try that out, but tried the jelly.

Assorted Vietnamese Desserts

The coconut and lotus jelly was something different which was actually amazing.
The coffee and the orange jelly somehow dint impress me and I personally dint enjoy it.

After having a glimpse of the Vietnamese food and gained some knowledge, I plan to visit the country to learn more about it and try out more of their food.
1thing I learnt about Vietnamese food is that, with the use to minimal, fresh ingredients, how a dish is taken to another level.

This was possible because of Sofitel - Mumbai, who gave me a chance to experience the food and enjoy it.
It was an amazing evening spent with them and the an amazing time spent with the food.


  1. Thank you for those ideas. I'll try to make something new from those fruits. I'll wait for more recipes!


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