Thursday, October 13, 2011

Brilliant Vietnamese

Food and travel guest blogger hkLifestyleGeek gives us her next scoop on fantastic restaurants around town and travel tips. Contact her at

I headed over to Le Soleil, the Vietnamese restaurant in The Royal Garden the other day. The venue is situated on the third floor which opens onto a kind of indoor balcony area. It looks out onto the hotel's 110-foot-high atrium and strangely just opposite there's a giant screen showing the latest highlights from the World Cup rugby tournament. Nevertheless, us foodies would rather focus on our food than on huge, sweaty beefy men clashing on a grass field for a rugby ball.... right?

With a new chef on board, we were eager to try the food. The restaurant has an extensive menu that is very flexible where dishes can be presented in single portions on individual plates or shared in platters. We had a snack platter with a number of appetizers on it. We had crispy royal Vietnamese spring rolls dipped in the sweet and subtly spicy sauce, and steamed rice flour rolls with minced pork and dried shrimp that had a wonderful delicate flavour, unlike many other Vietnamese restaurants in town that are typically bland.

Another starter with lots of texture in play is the rice paper rolled with fresh shrimp and soft shell crab that wasn't greasy as well as fried shrimp cakes Vietnamese style that were meaty and delicious.

If that wasn't enough to whet the appetite, there were more main courses to try again as a sample platter. The fillet of US 1855 beef tenderloin "look luck" was very juicy and tender, while the roasted French spring chicken in Vietnamese five herbs that was tender with subtle flavours.
An unusual dish was the crispy beef brisket in curry sauce that was indeed a bit crunchy in a very tasty thick sauce. We didn't expect to see that kind of a dish in Vietnamese cuisine, but thanks to the Indian influences the ingredients include cinnamon, onions, carrots, bay leaves and tumeric. Wish we had a baguette to mop up the sauce!

If that wasn't enough, we also got to have noodles, and I ordered the traditional beef pho, that came with a delicious steaming hot broth. The beef stock made the dish, and complemented with the rice noodles, thin slices of beef and fresh garnish of basil and lime made it a winner.

Dessert also comes as a sampler with a small coconut-flavoured custard and a green and white layered glutinous rice flour cake.

For a fine dining Vietnamese meal check out Le Soleil -- it's pretty much as authentic as you can get.

Le Soleil
3/F, The Royal Garden
69 Mody Road
Tsim Sha Tsui East
2733 2033

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