Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Savouring Saigon: Augustin Restaurant

Augustin Restaurant
10 Nguyen Thiep (D1)
Ho Chi Minh
Tel: +84-8292941

My lovely host K, wanted to try out this place because the last time she had some French customers over, they left her the name card of the restaurant and these parting words, “it is good, very authentic”. So to Augustin we went!

Seabass tartare with olives

Nosh: Bistro food. The menu is relatively extensive, which always delights me because I get an element of choice, but that would also mean that I would usually take more than 5 minutes surveying the menu and pondering about my choice. Although the menu consists of the classic bistro type of food such as salads and heartwarming soups, there were interesting and rather innovative items such as the seabass tartare. From this selection, we selected the French onion soup and the seabass tartare with olives. The soup was heartwarming and with the melted cheese pulled the soup together and gave it good depth. The seabass tartare makes a great summer dish – fresh and bright flavours on the plate. I would recommend you trying the seabass when you are here.

For main courses there was a selection of various duck breast dishes, fish, chicken and steaks. I was surprised that they had steak tartare on the menu and as tempted as I was to have that for my main course, I decided to stay with something a little safer for my first night in Saigon. Dishes are simple comfort bistro food such as grilled chicken with thyme and interesting elements such as beef pot au feu. I was adamant on having duck and so I had the duck break with ginger and spice caramel and K has the sole with mango and tomatoes. The duck was a little overcooked and the sauce was thick and sweet, more caramel-ly which seemed to mute over the spice and ginger taste that I was promised, but nonetheless, it was a good combination. The sole with mango another summer-on-a-plate dish - gentle, bright and light flavours.

Desserts such as crème brulee, cheese platters and fresh cut fruits are available, but we had to skip off early as my dear friend was feeling too ill participate in anymore eating activities.

Pay: 30,000 – 35,000 (VND) for 3 courses with drinks.
Estimated Conversion: S$30- S$35, $20 - $22 USD

Why I would go back: The ambience is warm and quaint and the staff was attentive and friendly. The good food at reasonably prices makes this place wonderful for a nice evening out.


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