Le Jardin, French restaurant in Saigon

21 May

Today I will speak about Le Jardin, a French restaurant in the Q1 of Saigon.

Me and my friends were missing French food, so we decided to try this restaurant, where a lot of expats are used to go.

It is located in the gardens of the French cultural centre: IDECAF, on Thai Van Lung (31).

In this restaurant, you have a large range of choice: you can take a meat or fish in a specific way (like magret de canard with mango) and choose the side with it (mashed potatoes, salad, fried potatoes…), or you can also choose a specific type of meat (example: beef tournedos) and then choose the sauce (pepper, tartare…) and the side.

So I decided to take a classic Beef tartare (this time, not the sauce but tartare is the raw minced beef meat prepared with capers, worcestershire sauce, oignons, pickles, an egg yolk, mustard, tabasco, parsley)  with mashed potatoes.

I had to prepare the tartare myself (usually in French brasseries, they tend to ask you if you want to do it by yourself or not, and if not, they prepare it just in front of you!), so I was a bit hesitating because it was my first time. I had a piece of lime, which normally is not a part of the recipe, but it was a good idea.

Anyway, the tartare was made with a great meat and it was fresh.

The mashed potatoes weren’t perfectly done, it was more like a mix between an écrasé and a purée. You see, an écrasé is a purée which hasn’t been finished. It is not smooth, it has big pieces of potatoes inside. A purée, is all smooth.

Here, I had a purée with littles pieces of potatoes. It wasn’t disturbing, but it wasn’t perfect.

I also prefer mashed potatoes with olive oil, it is tastier than with milk only. Because we had a small bottle of olive oil on the table, I added some to the mashed potatoes. It cost about 110000 dongs, so more than 4 euros.

My friends took a chicken filet with a goat’s cheese and basil sauce with fried potatoes:

A beef meat with a pepper sauce and also fried potatoes (150 000 dongs):

And a melon with prosciutto:

I must say that I was a bit disappointed by the melon, which did not seem ripe enough, and obviously, there was not much prosciutto in the plate.

As a dessert, I took an apple crumble with a vanilla ice-cream on top. The crumble was warm and crunchy with a bit of cinnamon. The apples were tasty and the ice-cream (I suppose it was coming from Fanny, the famous ice-cream shop in Saigon of which I will tell you more later) was tasty and didn’t seem chemical at all. I think it cost about 55 000 dongs (more than 2 euros).

My friends also took the apple crumble only one of them took the crème brûlée, which seemed really nice, with its caramel crust thick and crunchy.

Mark: 4/5

I would say that Le Jardin is like a classic French brasserie because of its menu, the quantity (the plates are large and full) and the quality. It was not the best lunch I had, but because I miss so much French food, I must admit it was what I expected: a large lunch with what we call “la cuisine de bistro”.

So yes, it is not an upper-class restaurant, but in France we also know how to appreciate the next-door restaurant with generous meals.

It was also a nice and quiet place (which is not common in Saigon!), the terrace made me think of the restaurants in Provence.

Le Jardin

31, Thai Van Lung

District 1

Hô Chi Minh City

One Response to “Le Jardin, French restaurant in Saigon”

  1. Wilma GALFRE May 21, 2012 at 14:57 #

    Sympa le restaurant. On ira peut-être cet été.

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