|Appetising: Pizza is made for a special occasion for gastronomers at Fafish Restaurant &Lounge Bar.
Da Nang's Fatfish restaurant offers a spectacular view of the river and two bridges, a unique, pool-inspired design and beautifully presented meats. Hoai Nam reports.
Facing the Han River, Fatfish Restaurant and Lounge Bar always has some cool air blowing, the sun shining and beautiful landscape.
Gastronomers can hardly find a place more picturesque with the Rong (Dragon) and the rotary Han bridges spanning over the river in Da Nang city.
Decorated with natural furniture and bamboo- decorations, the restaurant features an ocean of fish and the bar in the centre emerges as a ship deck.
The restaurant was designed as a pool with fish patterns on the walls, tables, staircases. Visitors can seat and imagine that they are in a pool with fish swimming around.
The restaurant owner intentionally use fish and bamboo decoration in almost all corners of the three-storey building.
Fatfish smells of Mediterranean/Asia fusion with dishes prepared by two chefs, one Italian and one Vietnamese.
While it's called Fatfish, it doesn't only serve fish, but different varieties of main dishes of pork, duck and beef with funny names.
"We decorate this cool place for gastronomers in the evening when it becomes pleasant in this central region on a hot summer day. The restaurant is sandwiched by the Han and Dragon bridges, so visitors can find outdoor tables or sit on the balcony enjoying delicious food, savouring it with the river sunset view," Matthew Reeves, the restaurant owner, said.
"Our chefs try to cook with standard imported food and some local vegetables and spices. We also hope to attract more Vietnamese young connoisseurs who are looking for some enjoyable food and a romantic place to have a drink," Reeves said.
|Fatty and flavourful: Pork belly is one of diners' favourite smoked meats to order at Fatfish.
He said there are two chefs, the Italian chef, Alberto Colombo, and the Vietnamese chef, Duc Tran, owner of Mango Mango, Mango Rooms and Mai Fish restaurants in Hoi An.
One of the quintessential dishes the restaurant serves is one with a rather funny name - Lazy Pig - a house seasoned pork cutlet with homemade tagliatelle sundried tomatoes and seasonal vegetables.
The restaurant owner said Lazy Pig is a Japanese pork chop, pan seared with the Vietnamese chef's secret recipe and served with Colombo's homemade tagliatelle pasta and his special tomato sauce.
"It's a funny and cool name. It tastes smoke pork with sauce and hand-made spaghetti in Italian style of the senior Italian chef," Nguyen Thi Hao Quynh of the restaurant said explaining the dish.
"The Italian chef rolls spaghetti and cuts it before drying it under the sun. The formula keeps spaghetti a bit tough, but soft and delicious with slices of smoked pork," Quynh said.
"The dish depicts the fat of smoked meat and balances the mixture of vegetable and sundried tomatoes."
|Ocean decor: Visitors sit at the cozy, friendly Fafish Restaurant &Lounge Bar on the Han River. — Photo courtesy Fafish Bar&Lounge
The pork is very tender.
Reeves also suggested that visitors can also order Fatfish Da Nang signature pizza.
Naughty Duck is actually a fine cuisine with smell of burnt pulp coconut and charcoal smoke.
The chef sauteed duck breasts on a pan, smoked with charcoal and pulp coconut.
Naughty Duck is very Vietnamese with five spices and galangal but served with Japanese style noodles.
Both dishes have interesting and quirky names to attract customers, according to Reeves.
Red snapper and grouper are two kinds of best quality fish. The restaurant owner explains that the fish cuisine is very delicious and spicy, and gastronomers image they are flying after tasting the food.
Local fishermen in Da Nang must catch the fish early in order for the chef to make fresh fish.
Fatfish Restaurant and Lounge Bar
Address: 439 Tran Hung Dao Street, Da Nang
Price: from VND70,000 ($3.3) to VND285,000 ($13.5)
Comment: Well-decorated with bamboo shaped fish. Flooded with light and offers a river view.
The pan seared fish fillet, is served with penne, tomato sauce and fresh aromatic herbs and vegetables.
"Spicy ingredients cooked with fresh fish fillets could make you fly like fish. The deliciously cooked and attractively displayed dish would make any gastronome's mouth water," Reeves said.
"Newly caught fish in Da Nang always lends the best quality to the Italian-Vietnamese cuisine cooked with home-grown herbs and vegetables."
Reeves said the main dish can be used with wine or HCM City-based Pasteur Street Brewing Company draught beer. We have a jasmine IPA and a Saison brewed with Phu Quoc pepper and lemongrass. They go great with our pizzas," he offered.
"It's a lovely smell with Jasmine IPA. It is very strong with 6.5 alcohol percentage, and you would get drunk with just three glasses. Tired of the same old uninspired vegetarian options? Come to Fatfish."
Hannah Aiello, an Australia expat in Hoi An, said: "This place is superb. The food was delicious and beautifully presented and the staff were very friendly and attentive."
Van Ly, who is from the US but is living in HCM City, said: "I had a lovely early dinner at Fatfish one weekend. I tried the fat tuna appetiser and the four cheese pizza."
"The crust on the four-cheese pizza was crispy on the outside with the right amount of salt and chewiness, and the consistency of the four-cheeses was creamy and it melted in my mouth. It's so good. I also enjoyed the Pasteur Street Brewing Company's Saigon Saison beer on offer. All in all, it was a wonderful meal with great friends. Once that boardwalk opens up, the river view will also be superb."
Reeves said the restaurant, which has been introduced in the city, is a good choice to take families, friends and couples to for a romantic dinner on a Saturday or a Sunday.
He said clients can relax on Sunday night with delicious food and drinks when they can see the head of the dragon (of the Dragon Bridge) breathing fire around 9.30pm on Sunday.
The restaurant can be easily found on the east side of the Han River bank. It opens from 9am with coffee and cakes, and closes at 11.30pm. — VNS