Date: March 23, 2014
Cuisine: Vietnamese / Cantonese
Our second night in Saigon lead us to this upscale Vietnamese / Cantonese placed called “Mandarin” (like the lame fake villain in Iron Man III).
The dining room is lovely. And another menu the size of Texas:
Fresh spring rolls with shrimp and pork. Not as good as some, these had a slight medicinal taste (some herb?).
Or maybe it was the slightly strange plum sauce.
Pan fried rice pancakes with shrimp mouse. The mouse was the standard Chinese (and Vietnamese shrimp ball material). Fairly mild.
Slightly spicy fish sauce.
Fried soft-shell crabs with da lat lemon sauce. Good and crunchy.
Special king prawn. This guy was huge, and pretty, but a bit of a disappointment as the meat was bland.
Salty beef in bamboo. It was on fire, which is always cool.
Sticky rice in lotus leaf. Certainly lovely presentation. The rice itself was good, pretty typical.
Roasted duck Mandarin style. We had thought this might be Peking duck, but no, it was this boneless duck in a sweet lemony sauce. Like lemon chicken but duck. Still tasty.
Mandarin was solid, but nothing amazing. And it was considerably more expensive than most Vietnamese places. Certainly it was interesting, offering a lovely setting and serving up a hybrid Vietnamese and Cantonese cuisine.
For more Vietnam dining reviews, click here.