Jun 2008

Au Parc – Ho Chi Minh City

May 7, 2008
Cuisine: French, Mediterranean

23 Han Thuyen Street
District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

Phone: 8292772
Website: none

Garden salad with roasted vegetables (35,000 VND)

Bagel toasted with Brie, caramelized onions and green apple shavings (67,000 VND)

Pasta with lamb, cashews, coriander pesto and Parmesan (95,000 VND)

When it comes to restaurants, I don’t believe in second chances. The world is filled with too much goodness to waste precious little space on unworthy morsels. That being said, I had to return to Au Parc for research purposes (I was assigned a piece about Saigon sandwiches for AsiaLIFE). My first visit was dangerously unspectacular, but luckily my second experience was a different story.

The Astronomer and I shared a garden salad with roasted vegetables to start and found it satisfactory. Salads can never be truly great, you know what I mean? For my main, I ordered a bagel sandwich with toasted Brie, caramelized onions and green apple shavings. Let me quote myself:

There’s something about toasted bread and gooey cheese that just couldn’t be anymore perfect. Au Parc’s toasted bagel with Brie cheese takes this classic combination up a couple notches with the addition of caramelized onions and green apple shavings. The tart apple cuts the Brie’s richness and the toasted bagel ties all the components together into one neat and satisfying package.

The Astronomer also scored. His pasta with lamb, cashews, coriander pesto and Parmesan was flavorful, nuanced and filling. Th lamb chunks were moist and seasoned lightly so that the lamb flavor really came through.

My brother and his girlfriend never fault the kitchen for bad meals; instead, they blame themselves for ordering poorly. Or vice versa.

The Astronomer and I ordered really well on this occasion at Au Parc.

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4 thoughts on “Au Parc – Ho Chi Minh City

  1. I’m glad it worked out better this time. It’d be pretty disappointing if you had to eat there for work, and it continued to be unspectacular.

    I have to take a moment to rhapsodize about a place in South Philly that does, in my opinion, make a truly great salad. Several really good ones, actually, but at least one great.
    It’s at Il Cantina Los Cabelleros on E. Passyunk. All of their salads are on a small plate – smaller than an entree plate – but piled up with enough goodness that it ends up being just the right amount of food. Their mixed salad – a dish that in most restaurants just indicates some cucumbers thrown in with the iceberg – is a masterpiece of contrasts: sweet (jicama and mandarin oranges) and salty (spicy peanuts and the chili vinaigrette dressing), light (radishes, lettuce) and rich (avocado). It’s like the kitchen looked into my brain and discovered everything I’d want to eat on a salad.
    Paired with their complimentary chips n’ salsa and a $10 pitcher of happy hour margaritas, and I’ve got an unfailing weapon for persuading friends to visit me in South Philly.

  2. I still can’t get over how expensive “Western food” are in VN nowadays. Surely lots of their ingredients are readily available locally, and God knows it’s not that hard to be a “sandwich artist”!

    95K! I can get bowls of noodles with that

  3. “Salads can never be truly great”

    a truer statement has never been made 🙂

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