Nouvelle French fare in Vietnam
Brasserie is Ho Tram Resort Casino Vietnam’s 120-seat fine-dining, French-meets-Asian restaurant. Located in the main atrium of the resort, Brasserie gives off a Parisian casual-chic vibe with comfortable banquette seating and small bistro tables. Here, you can indulge in authentic French bistro fare with a contemporary twist without ever leaving the front door of the resort.
The décor of the place is equal parts old and new. The high ceiling is covered in metal and flanked with wood beams, providing a modern contrast to the exposed brick walls and vintage glass bell lamps. The main dining room is decorated in shades of orange for an earthy, laid-back vibe, and black-and-white fashion photography prints serve to divide the large space into sections. There is also a private dining room with seating for 10, enclosed by pretty pale blue plantation shutters. A wraparound stainless-steel bar and billiards table frame the entrance, with counters wide enough for you to take your meal right at the bar. Seating also spills out into the common area facing the resort’s second signature restaurant, Ju Bao Xuan.
Overseeing the modern French menu is executive chef Jean Francois Meteigner, formerly chef-owner of the Los Angeles restaurant La Cachette, which garnered praise for reinventing bistro classics. Meteigner’s cooking style is known as French nouvelle, or lighter, contemporary interpretations of French classics (read: less cream and butter but not less taste).
Meteigner has re-created a few of his acclaimed classics for Brasserie, such as the beef rossini, a decadent beef tournedo (filet mignon) topped with seared foie gras and served with grilled asparagus, basil mashed potato and corn arancini atop a morel truffle sauce for an earthy finish. the veal two ways is a dish with succulent braised veal cheek and seared veal sweetbreads over truffle mashed potatoes and a red wine sauce that helps to cut the richness.
The Australian wagyu, flavorsome but less fatty than Kobe beef or the house-smoked salmon, is served with toasted bagel chips, sour cream and capers. And less you forget you’re actually in Asia, Meteigner excels at giving local ingredients a Western twist — he uses Vietnamese oxtail or black chicken in consommé and cooks frog legs in sugar cane juice and garlic butter with local herbs. The seared foie gras starter is a standout, served with fig chutney and a ginger orange sauce. A large see-through wine cellar houses an impressive collection, detailed on the 15-page wine list.
A nod to the many families who stay at the resort, Brasserie’s menu also includes steaks and kid-friendly fare like pizzas, pastas and desserts. Speaking of desserts, you’ll find made-in-house sorbets and ice creams accompanying the treats — the rich volcano cake oozes melted dark chocolate and is served with coffee ice cream while the thin apple tart features cinnamon sugar and vanilla ice cream. The convivial lounge at Brasserie is open daily for mid-day drinks, and the Vietnam restaurant opens for dinner every night of the week.