In a nutshell:
Loved the Vietnamese food served here, in a romantic setting with some outstanding service & a unexpected chat with the Chef.
Address & other Details: Blue Ginger
Meal for 2: Rs. 3000 onwards (without drinks)
Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:
U enter this restaurant thru a tiny dimly lit passage that reveals the Restaurant only after a point. As u stand at the door, u see normal restaurant seating in the middle of the hallway & the open kitchen at the background. On both sides are semi covered (circular shaped) cubicles that have a sofa seating , a round table at the center that has a revolving top. The only source of light in the cubicles is from a bunch of ‘electronic threads’ that descend from the ceiling whose tips emit a blue light – like a bunch of fireflies hanging up in the air (without moving though) – the look reminded me of a scene from the movie Avatar.
The sofa was for a group of 3-4 people but we chose the same inspite of being only two. The tabletop had a beautiful white flower vase & some superb white flowers on them. Quite a romantic setting.
The service, as I have mentioned above, was very good. Attention to detail, attention to guests without being intrusive, knowledge of products etc (except one instance) were commendable.
I have never been to Vietnam – so have not had the opportunity to eat there. All I knew of Vietnamese cuisine that it is influenced by Chinese, Indian & French!!! The food at Blue Ginger is Vietnamese. Some are original ‘almost as it is’ & some are fusion – European dish with Vietnamese spices, ingredients, flavours, tastes & concepts etc.
The icing on the cake was a little chat with the Chef regarding our main course dish & a mind-blowing good dessert that she suggested.
Detailed Description – In case u have the time to njoy reading:
As we sat for the Dinner, we were served pickled vegetables & fried crispies.
The pickled vegetable were tangy & flavourful.
The crispies had a seafood flavour. Liked it.
We started our dinner with Ca Nuong Kieu HA NOI (fish Hanoi style). This was served with rice crispies , lettuce & a mixture which was a combination of rock salt, pepper & spices.
We tried this in various permutations & combinations – the fish as it is, fish wrapped in lettuce, fish wrapped in lettuce & generously sprinkled with the mixture, just the lettuce & the mixture, fish & the mixture & so on. Loved all of them. Loved ‘fish & the mixture’ most.
The grilled fish had Oriental flavours that were new to me & for obvious reasons I concluded it to be Vietnamese. The fish pieces were soft, juicy & immensely flavourful. The charred ends added to the taste & texture.
The next dish we had was Vit Quay Kieu Vietnam – Vietnamese Roast Duck with Classical accompaniments. This turned out to be a dish having 6 roasted duck meat rolls.
The roll however had no ordinary wrap. It had a super thin translucent (almost transparent) wrap made from rice!!!! The guy serving us said that that the wrap has been made by the Chef – we were awestuck. So as we started eating, to our pleasant surprise, the Vietnamese Lady (Chef) was at our table to talk about the wrap. She was so nice & ‘down to earth’. We expressed our awe & she said ‘This is made by pouring almost liquefied powdered rice onto a bamboo sheet & then sun-drying it. This is done in Vietnam & we import it’.
Inside the wrap were the roasted duck, veggies & an in-house made brown sauce. Soft, tasty, flavourful meat slices & crunchy veggies. Once again, loved it.
If I compare this duck to other duck dishes, it comes closest to Peking duck (but of course they r different). I wud say this is my 4th best Duck experience in Delhi, 1st was China Kitchen, Hyatt, 2nd was Smoke House Room & third, Royal China.
The final main-course dish was Bo Nuong ONG Tre – Stir fried Angus Tenderloin in pepper sauce flambéed & served inside a bamboo!!!!!
This was a master-piece. The softest, juiciest tenderloin I have had in a long while. This was flambéed in front of us before serving. The boneless pieces of meat were served with a sauce that again had Vietnamese flavours & a superb taste.
As mentioned above, this was served in a bamboo hollow (cut out like a glass).
We were served some boiled rice with this.
For desserts, we noticed that all were western desserts that had elements of Vietnamese influence.
The Chef was back when we asked the waiting staff for suggestions. She said ‘why not orange crème brulee? My friend said that she was not very fond of crème brulee. So some more discussions happened & post that the Chef said ‘I will myself make the Creme Brulee – its not the usual one & my friend said – Ok, lets try.
The decision did not make us regret at all – rather it turned out to be one of the best.
The orange ginger crème brulee was served inside a semi-spherical orange peel!!! The top of course was the caramelized sugar with orange sauce atop. Within was ginger flavoured custard – subtle & simply awesome.
U will like this only if u appreciate subtle tastes & flavours. For my friends who r used to strong taste Indian sweets only, they might not find this appealing.
The Chef told us to inform a day in advance before we go next time – she offered to make traditional Vietnamese dishes for us. I am of course looking forward to that in the near future.
Overall – A marvellous experience. Loved it & will surely revisit.