Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Savouring Saigon: La Fourchette

La Fourchette
9 Ngo Duc Ke Street (D1)
Ho Chi Minh City
Tel: +84-88298143

My pre-travel-food-research pointed me to La Fourchette, which I decided that I had to try after reading noodlepie’s entry who declared that the food rarely disappoints and also some other internet source that indicated that it was a place worth a visit. La Fourchette was relatively easy to find as it lies in a rather central location of the city and I managed to navigate myself to the restaurant without by then, my really ill-and-at-home-recovering eating partner. I guess I was either overcome by greed or selfishness that I pressed on with my eating despite having to eat alone. I don’t mind eating alone, but I just think good food needs good company, it is like good food without good wine or perhaps like fantastically prepared food that was not properly salted – something was missing. My lunch for one was delicious, but lacking in social company. I must have looked rather odd in the restaurant that was filled with quick speaking French people, and the other singleton diners in the restaurant were male and were well equipped with a magazine in hand to occupy themselves, hence I, the petite Asian girl must have had tourist written all over me.

Looking touristy or not, this place is lovely. You might almost forget that you are in the heart of Ho Chi Minh but rather somewhere in France. The gingham tablecloths, the French speaking people, the chalk board with announcing the plat du jour and the French owner to go along with it, it is somewhat of a French affair if you are here. It is a small and cozy retreat from the bustle of the streets and it fills up rather quickly as they only have 10 table and they serve up pretty good food.

Nosh: Another great bistro on the streets of Ho Chi Minh that serves up appetizers such as escargots, patés, seafood soup, French onion soup, salad nicóse and salad with smoked duck and liver are just to mention a few excluding what is on the chalkboard for the day. The main courses are typically French with tripe, steak tartare, duck confit, and other beef, duck and veal selections.

I decided to try to gizzard and duck liver salad which was featured on the plat du jour chalkboard and for the main course, I had the veal fillet with cepes and crème. The salad was a little disappointing as although it came with a generous amount of gizzard and liver, it was overcooked. So while I ate my oily salad of liver and gizzard, I enviously eyed the next table’s fisherman soup that was the other item that was featured on the chalkboard. The weal fillet with cepes and crème served with perfectly deep golden frites and over boiled sweet peas on the other hand was wonderful, but maybe too rich and heavy for lunch, such that I was a little overwhelmed after I was about halfway through my plate. The crème made the sauce rich and soothing, but it was too heavy for me, or perhaps my palate is used to the lighter more fusion-type French food that we have in Singapore.

While my plate was only half polished, I sat there contemplating the prospects of dessert. I was dying to have a cheese platter to finish off the meal, but my stomach just won’t have it and won’t give. So I can’t give you an insight to the desserts on the menu, maybe next time when I’m back, I’ll come back to finish up my unfinished business.

Pay: 25,000 – 35,000 VND for 3 courses and a drink.
Estimated conversion: S$25 – S$35, $15-$20 USD

Why I would come back: The intimate French ambience and food is good enough reason.


Anonymous Arie said...

hi Joone, you missed one 0 in VND cost, otherwise your whole dinner is the equivalent of a plate of nasi lemak :-)

12:34 PM  

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