Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Vietnamese week at the Hyatt Regency, Johannesburg

This event is currently running at the Hyatt Regency in Rosebank.
If, like my wife and I, you enjoy Vietnamese cuisine,
then you have to take advantage of the last few days.

L to R:
Gregory Jardim (Hyatt Regency,Johannesburg).
Duong Bao Son and Ma Khi Tan.based at the Grand Hyatt Dubai's
award winning Wox Asian Restuarant.

This restaurant, although situated within the Hyatt Regency,
 is open the public.
It is very popular and therefore bookings are essential

From the outside looking in.
On the night of our visit, it was too chilly to enjoy a pre-dinner
drink in the outside entertainment area

Not really "Vietnamese",
but I thought that the presentation was different

The restaurant offers a full wine list

Not all the seating looks like this.
Personally, I would probably find these chairs too comfortable

This is where the magic happens.
As the kitchen is within the dining area,
the chefs have to go about their business in a calm and controlled manner

Light the burner and let the cooking begin

Definitely NOT part of the Vietnamese promotion.
These South African snacks were destined for the foyer bar

For those guests who want "regular" food during the promotion,
the restaurant will have non-Vietnamese dishes on offer.

Dinner time...

Not your usual roll.
A mixture of sweet and savory...and very tasty.

Vietnamese born Chef Ma Khi Tan
in the kitchen...
The major difference with Vietnamese cooking is that most of the
dishes are flash cooked.
Nothing slow about getting food to customers.
It therefore comes down to preparation and the freshest ingredients.

This could have been an entire meal!
I have yet to see a portion this large in anywhere else.
This was my wife's starter:
Sup hai san...
Seafood soup.
A virtual aquarium of seafood, extremely delicious
but too spicy for my palate.

My starter...
Goi bo bop thau...
Marinated beef, peanuts, lemon dressing.
The flavours in this dish were a superb blend of the ingredients.
The vegetables were crunchy,the dressing sublime
and the beef was "melt-in-the-mouth" delicious

My mains...
Com rang hai san...
Seafood fried rice.
The simplicity of the name belies the taste.
It was, without doubt, one of the finest dishes I have ever eaten.
The calamari done to perfection.
The prawns were so good that I saved them to be enjoyed with
the last morsels of the rice.
The rice was the essence of the dish and I savoured every mouthful.
In fact, I was contemplating skipping dessert and asking for a second helping!

My wife's main course...
Ru xao thap cam dau hu...
Wox fried vegetables with tofu.
Like my dish, she too enjoyed every mouthful with relish.

The desserts were certainly different.
And not a drop of chocolate sauce in sight.
Che cu nang cot dua...
Water chestnut dumpling, iced coconut milk.
A great way to cleanse the palate at the end of the meal.

And finally, for me...
Xoi xoai cot dua...
Sticky rice, mango, coconut cream...
The dessert potions were not as large as either the starter or the mains
And for that I was truly grateful.
That being said, the meal was perfectly balanced
and as with most Asian food, it does not leave a dinner feeling
excessively "full".

We finished off the meal with a regular coffee.
We did miss the Vietnamese coffee (coffee with LOTS of condensed milk) that we
had enjoyed on our Vietnamese trip in 2011.
If you are looking to celebrate a special occasion,
or if you are just looking for a meal that is "different",
then this promotion, which ends on 12 September is recommended


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