Viet Nam News
Jane’s Bistro offers elegant and rich dishes in a modest environment, a must-try for self-respecting foodie. Nomad Quynh reports.
HCM City is the largest city in Việt Nam, so it’s no surprise that each district has a vibrant food scene of its own. The distance between each district and the quality of food everywhere in the city mean that people often stay close to home when dining. But if there is one that can persuade me to travel far from my home in District 7, it is the one and only Jane’s Bistro.
The restaurant is modestly situated on the first floor of an apartment building at 19 Hưng Gia 4, in the Phú Mỹ Hưng compound. From the outside it does not look flashy at all, and you might not recognize it when passing by. But make no mistake: even in a city full of great Western restaurants, this is one of the best you will find.
Jane’s Bistro is run by a passionate American couple, Michael Rose, who serves as chef and manager, and his lovely wife Jane. The food is mostly Italian and French with a creative twist. It isn’t a big place; there are only about 15 seats so reservation in advance is a must. You will see Rose through the open kitchen — just like a friend or family member cooking for you.
If you’re thinking "There are already so many Italian/French restaurants in town, what’s the difference?" then this place will change your mind. Rose is perhaps one of the most talented chefs in HCM City right now. He has the passion, creativity and talent to create so many wonderful dishes from different and interesting combinations. And his wife Jane is a wonderful host who always takes time to greet every table and explain the menu to each customer, as well as answering any questions they might have.
For a starter, we had baked mushrooms with apple, beetroot and homemade ricotta. At VNĐ120,000+ it was a good portion, with bread on the side. All the ingredients blended together to create such a nice flavour.
Jane told us the pastas are the restaurant’s specialty, so we knew we had to get one of these. They are all homemade with organic Semolina flour from Oregon, USA and freshly rolled out and cut by order. We went with something different that intrigued us: Oxtail bolognese pappardelle with baby carrot, eggplant and braised tomato cream (VNĐ220,000+). It was another wonderful combination. The oxtail was very tender and flavourful.
Next, we had the rack of lamb coated in mixed nuts and spices, with couscous, zucchini on the side and special mint mustard sauce (VNĐ420,000+). While the lamb had a melt-in-your-mouth tenderness, I was particularly impressed by the creative sauce which enhanced the taste of the dish so well.
By the time we finished the lamb I was already a bit full, but since no meal is complete without dessert, we went for a tiramisu and Ralf’s coffee gelato which came in two scoops. (In case you have never heard of Ralf’s, they are one of the best fresh homemade gelato shops in HCM City.) Jane told me that Ralf made this gelato exclusively for their restaurant, and indeed it made me say "wow". I’m a big fan of Ralf and I can say this is definitely one of his best. The homemade tiramisu was also one of the most delicious I’ve ever had – soft and creamy with just the right amount of sweetness. All the desserts are priced at VNĐ125,000+ each and worth every penny. I should also mention that they have some very decent house wine and nice bottles as well.
Jane told me they normally change the menu every three to four months, using different seasonal ingredients, so I can’t wait to go back again for an entirely different meal. We had such a good time, and all the other staff besides Jane were also wonderfully nice and professional. The price might not be cheap by Vietnamese standards, but for such good quality food it was worth it. You can feel the passion and dedication of the couple, and I have no doubt their food will satisfy even the most difficult customers.
Jane’s Bistro has definitely earned a spot in my HCM City top restaurant list. There’s no doubt we will come back many times in the future and recommend it to everybody! VNS
Nomad Quynh is an independent blogger who just loves good food. For more recommendations about the best places to eat in HCM City, check out her page: https://www.facebook.com/nomadquynh
Address: 19 Hưng Gia 4, Phú Mỹ Hưng, District 7, HCM City
Tel: 0909 096 505
Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 11am – 2pm & 5pm – 8.30pm
Comment: One of the best Western restaurants in HCM City, using only fresh and organic ingredients. All dishes are handmade from scratch with no added preservatives. Reservation a must!