Viet Nam News
By Mỹ Duyên
A friend of mine called me recently, insisting that we go out for barbeque.
Not a good idea, I thought. It had been so hot that even heavy rains had not cooled down the city. BBQ, no.
But I acquiesced. As soon as I stepped out of the liftat the rooftop Rơm BBQ restaurant, I knew why the place was so popular in HCM City.
Smack in the heart of the city, it is located on the top of a seven-storey building near the eastern side of Bến Thành Market.
Despite the heat, diners were clearly enjoying an outdoor feast as smoke from the grills swirled upward, imparting a pungent but pleasant smell.
Apart from the finely marinated foods, it’s the airy environment and stunning views that help keep the crowds coming.
“We dine here with our colleagues to enjoy our favourites while we unwind high above the city,” said a woman who works downtown.
“We’re crazy for the grill, but also for the exceptional view. From our regular seats, we can see the city’s skyline and the glistening, colourful neon lights in the evening,” she added.
Best seller: Beef with cheese is the most popular order at Rơm BBQ.
The restaurant serves an extensive menu, including Vietnamese grilled dishes, marinated cuts of meat, seafood, vegetables, rice, noodles and hotpots.
“We have designed an a la carte menu of nearly 70 items, which we will soon change to offer quality food at a reasonable price to our guests,” said Hương Duyên, spokeswoman for Rơm BBQ.
“We use custom-made grilling equipment and premium ingredients, and our cooking team tweaks recipes from the country’s different regions to suit the palate of demanding clients. But we still retain the authentic flavour,” she said.
“The vegetable menu and hotpots are changed based on the season so that our regular visitors are constantly delighted with our menu.”
Mouth watering: Beef wrapped in mustard greens with fermented tofu sauce is a standout dish at Rơm BBQ.
Grilled food is a favourite among southerners, and I’m no exception.
Vietnamese beef and pork are on offer, including beef rolled with cheese (VNĐ 90,000), beef wrapped in mustard greens (VNĐ110,000) and bacon rolled with salmon (VNĐ88,000).
Combined with a special homemade sauce, all the dishes were fantastic.
The restaurant offers six sauces: five-spice, wild honey, fish sauce, satay, and fermented tofu curd. The latter was the standout. It went very well with most grilled items
The grilled beef rolled with cheese and beef wrapped in mustard greens was my favourite.
I was certain that the juicy, aromatic beef would not pair well with bitter mustard greens and the fermented tofu curd sauce. But I savoured every bite of the 10 rolls.
We also sampled grilled prawn with basil and bacon (VNĐ88,000) and a refreshing mixed salad of water spinach, half-cooked beef and basil served with a sour-sweet sauce (VNĐ99,000).
A favorite with kids: Fried soft tofu with salted egg.
Fried soft tofu with salted egg, popular with both adults and children, is also on the menu. Deep-fried spring rolls (VNĐ99,000) and fried rice with seafood Rơm BBQ style (VNĐ77,000/ small portion) are available as well.
However, we opted for the richly flavoured hotpot of chicken and mushrooms with Udon-shaped noodles (VNĐ 250,000), a signature dish of Rơm BBQ. The chicken was finely matched with mushrooms, while corn can be added to create a more flavourful broth.
The restaurant is rightly proud of its use of tropical herbs and traditional spices in the dishes, including cinnamon, cardamom, anise, mint, basil, lemongrass, garlic, chili and honey.
A must-try: Lotus seeds with longan and ice.
For dessert, we ordered the dried longan and lotus seed with ice (VNĐ 30,000), also a must-try.
The restaurant also offers a variety of drinks including juices and cocktails, from traditional to fusion, the latter especially popular among diners for their earthy tastes that go well with the BBQ.
If you’re looking for an ideal outdoor barbeque, Rơm BBQ will not disappoint. The view, food and ambience are all worth seeking out. — VNS
Rơm BBQ Restaurant
Address: Rooftop – Thanh Thế Building, 2 Lưu Văn Lang Street, Bến Thành – District 1, HCM City
Opening hours: 5pm-10pm
Comment: good location with panoramic view, fantastic food and cosy ambiance.