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Riveria offers healthy menu under the stars

Update: March, 18/2018 - 09:00
Amazing experience: Our table was set up with “palm trees” created with palm leaves and pineapple, and mini gardens created with bell peppers and parsley. VNS Photo Thúy Hằng
Viet Nam News

The city of Vũng Tàu attracts tourists from far and wide, all looking to enjoy the local sun, sea and sand. However, in terms of luxury accommodation the options are few and far between. The Pullman Vung Tau Hotel & Resort, and its Riviera Restaurant, offer a splendid stay by the seaside and a sumptuous dining experience. Thúy Hằng reports.

On my return to Vũng Tàu after an absence of more than 10 years, I was astonished by the amazing changes undergone by the city. The streets had developed significantly, with the appearance of several high buildings, turning the city into one of the most popular tourist destinations in the South, especially for residents of HCM City as it takes just three hours to drive there.

Although it’s a haven for beach lovers, there is only one international five-star hotel in the city – the Pullman Vung Tau Hotel & Resort, where we stayed during our visit.

On arrival, I was immediately impressed by the spacious lobby. A huge installation featuring hundreds of Vietnamese conical hats created an enormous backdrop. The wave-shaped rattan benches scattered around the lobby were an artistic touch.

When we arrived at the Riviera restaurant we were wowed by the dining arrangement. A long table was set up with “palm trees” created with palm leaves and pineapple, and mini gardens created with bell peppers and parsley. Twinkling candles highlighted the stunning table décor.  

The restaurant was surrounded by the high blocks of hotel rooms. Looking up, you can see the twinkling of stars through an open space.

The hotel’s executive chef, Stephan A. Dellner, had prepared a set menu for our group, with a focus on healthy ingredients.   

Having worked at several luxury hotels and resorts in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa before starting his journey in Việt Nam, the creations of the German chef are influenced by all the regions he had been to.   

Our meal started with sesame pan-seared tuna served with salad, including apple, orange, lettuce and cherry tomato, fennel and cucumber pickle.

Excited by the aromatic scent of orange, plus the freshness of other ingredients, I thought the starter was a promising sign of a good culinary experience to come.

The second starter – Minestrone – the hearty Italian vegetable soup made with tomato broth and pasta, has been ‘localised’ and included the freshly caught seafood of the day from Vũng Tàu.

Juicy meat: Rack of Lamb. VNS Photo Thúy Hằng
Artistic: ‘Lobster served my way with truffled and green pea puree’. VNS Photo Thúy Hằng
Hearty: Minestrone soup. VNS Photo Thúy Hằng
Catch of the day: Sesame pan-seared tuna served with assorted salad. VNS Photo Thúy Hằng

Chef Dellner continued to show off his talent with his third creation, lobster served with truffle and green pea puree. Like a still life of food, the white pieces of succulent lobster stood on a green bed of pea puree. The light scent of truffle combined with the sweetness of the seafood was a delight.

Halfway through our culinary journey at Riviera, chef Dellner gave our tastebuds a break with a passion fruit sorbet with ginseng-flavoured champagne. The name says it all, and I was impressed by this special palate cleanser.

After the sorbet, the rack of lamb was placed on our table. The meat, which was grilled perfectly to maintain its juiciness, has been enhanced with organic asparagus, dried tomatoes, and caramelized onion jus.    

The last course, duo of tropical fruits featured jackfruit tulip, rice wine zabaione with gratinated papayas. The amazing dessert was a perfect note to end our meal. Artistically displayed – a half-tube flake filled with vanilla custard and adorned with jackfruit threads and strawberry slices on top; and a small glass cup contained gratinated papayas.

The ‘Green and Healthy’ menu created by chef Dellner is part of the hotel’s commitment to developing sustainability, according to the hotel’s General Manager, Vincent Delsol.

He revealed a long-term project to develop an organic garden supplying home-grown vegetables to all restaurants in the hotel.

“In a further step, we want to supply those organic products to local people as well. To start this commitment, the hotel has recruited an expert in the field to implement the project,” he said. VNS

 

Riviera Restaurant

Pullman Vung Tau Hotel & Resort

15 Thi Sách Street, Tháng Tám Ward, Vũng Tàu City

Tel: +84 (0) 254 355 1777

Opening hours: 6am – 10pm

Comment: An all-day hub for a lavish buffet breakfast, fast-paced business lunch, or relaxed evening dinner. Saturday Night’s Seafood Extravaganza Dinner Buffet is available weekly. Very attentive staff. Nice décor.

 

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