Fresh fish: Sashimi features the freshest selection of Japanese and Vietnamese raw fish. VNS Photo Anh Duy
Viet Nam News
Memorable meals are guaranteed at Sorae, where exquisitely prepared Japanese food is served in an elegant atmosphere in a downtown HCM City high-rise. Mỹ Duyên reports.
Eating traditional Japanese food, especially raw fish, was something I never thought I would enjoy.
But that was before I had dined at Sorae, a spectacular Japanese restaurant in the heart of downtown HCM City.
Its Japanese name, which translates as "up in the sky", is fitting. Located on the 24th and 25th floors of the AB Building, the restaurant has a gorgeous 360-degree view of the city.
Covering a total of 1,200 square metres, Sorae caters to small or large groups, with 14 private rooms of different sizes, all with a city view.
Designed in a traditional Japanese style, each room is named after well-known Japanese cultural icons and entertainers, including Sakura, Fujiyama, Koi, Misora, Geisha, and Yozora.
Besides the exclusive fine dining, guests are also given an authentic Tokyo cultural experience right in the heart of HCM City.
The secret to the restaurant’s success is its reliance on premium fresh ingredients, especially seafood. Other items like ginger pickles and wasabi are meticulously prepared by Sorae’s chef.
Dressed in traditional Japanese costumes and make-up, Sorae staff greeted me in the lobby where we took the lift up to the 24th floor. I was surprised by the nicely lit interior, stylish lamps, open kitchen and beautiful furniture.
Surrounded by windows, Sorae is especially attractive at sunset. From your seat, you can see hundreds of vibrant and colourful neon lights at night.
After quickly scanning the long list of more than 100 Japanese food items ranging from steamed and grilled to deep fried and raw, my friends and I decided to order four dishes for our dinner that included a starter, salad, rice rolls and seafood combination.
The dishes were brought out at the same time. We started our meal with chawan mushi or savory egg custard (VNĐ75,000). Served hot, the irresistible egg delicacy heightens all the senses.
Next up was the Horenso bacon salad, a signature dish of the chef and the bestseller in the house. It was a tasty combination of crispy bacon, mushroom, spinach and half-boiled egg. It’s the fantastic truffle dressing that makes the dish (VNĐ180,000). This was the best Japanese food I had ever tried.
The aromatic crispy salmon skin, rice rolls, salmon slices (VNĐ195,000) were exquisitely prepared.
We could not end our feast without sampling sushi and sashimi. For VNĐ1,450,000, raw seafood including Japanese fish and Vietnamese seafood were finely cut and skilfully arranged in a big ceramic bowl, looking like a masterpiece of colours and flavours.
Tuna, salmon, octopus, salmon roe, prawn and seaweed were all artfully displayed on ice.
I eagerly picked up a piece of salmon and dipped it into the rich soya sauce with wasabi and ginger pickle. With a fresh and delicate flavour, the brilliantly coloured salmon had a superb texture.
The tuna and octopus was also juicy and flavourful, as were the rolls of salted salmon roe and dried seaweed paper that I rolled myself.
Tea flavour: Amitsu (green tea icecream with red bean agar) is a delectable sweet. VNS Photo Anh Duy
A must: Chawan mushi, a savory egg custard, is a must try. VNS Photo Anh Duy
Popular: Horenso salad (spinach bacon salad), a signature dish of the chef and the most popular item at Sorae. VNS Photo Anh Duy
For connoisseurs of Japanese food, the restaurant has a special menu called Omasake which combines freshly imported ingredients with the chef’s creative interpretation of traditional Japanese cuisine with Eastern and Western culinary techniques.
The tantalising menu showcases what the chef does best, including mouthwatering starters, fried and grilled treasures from the sea, hearty meats, the freshest sushi and irresistible wagyu beef.
To maintain its fine standards, the restaurant offers a special Omasake menu (VNĐ2,690,000 per person, with a minimum of eight guests), which must be reserved three days in advance.
Sorae’s array of delectable desserts and ice cream of various flavours offers a pleasing end to a sumptuous but healthy meal.
I tried hojicha tea brulee with ginger ice cream (VNĐ150,000) while my friends indulged in amitsu or green tea ice cream with red bean agar (VNĐ95,000) and matcha pudding and mizu mochi (VNĐ125,000).
The brulee’s caramel flavour paired beautifully with the ginger ice cream.
Although the prices are rather high, the restaurant represents value for money and is highly recommended for a special night out with friends or family. — VNS
Sorae Japanese Restaurant and Lounge
Address: 24th-25th floor, AB Tower, 76 Lê Lai Street, District 1
Phone: (08) 38 272 372 - 093 868 7689
Hours: 11:30am-2:15pm and 5:30pm-10:45pm (last order)
Comment: premium Japanese food served in a spectacular setting, cosy ambience and refined hospitality