Mad Cow goes crazy about the right things

Update: January, 14/2018 - 09:00
Getting started: A plate of tortilla chips with fresh salsa and guacamole. VNS Photo Thúy Hằng
Viet Nam News

HCM City’s newest ‘grillery’ lives up to its motto of ‘Mad about wine and serious about food’. Thúy Hằng and friends discover on an unusually cool night

We arrived in HCM City just few hours before Tropical Storm Tembin made landfall on the southern coast. So we enjoyed the highly unusual, extremely cool weather.

In the evening, when all of us sat around a large table at the Mad Cow Wine&Grill on the 30th floor of the Pullman Saigon Centre, looking out of the glass windows, the night sky was still very clear, and the city below twinkled with millions and millions of lights, as usual.

Mad Cow Wine&Grill – the newest outlets in the city (opened last August) to offer grilled steaks and seafood – combines the best of an edgy grill with the casual tone of an urban wine bar, creating a stylish, laid-back atmosphere, with a magnificent city view, of course.

However, the magnificent city view couldn’t keep our attention for long. As soon as the food arrived at the table, our focus on it was complete. Dinner kicked off with plates of fried tortilla chips with fresh salsa and guacamole. No complaints. Proper ingredients and seasonings, and correct flavour. 

A seafood soup followed. It was almost love at first sight. I’m always attracted by the black colour, which is luxurious and mysterious. The soup was served in a black glass ceramic plate that highlight everything on it – a big prawn spread on top of several other ingredients including seabass, squid, clam, mussel, zucchini, carrot and potato, all swimming in a tomato-based broth. I particularly liked the slightly-smoky smell of the grilled prawn.

Good looking: Slightly-smoky smell of the grilled prawn gives this elegant seafood soup an extra blast. VNS Photo Thúy Hằng
Vietnamese accents: A signature dish of the restaurant – BBQd seabass. VNS Photo Thúy Hằng
Perfectly done: Charcoal-grilled strip loin of free range Wagyu beef. VNS Photo Thúy Hằng

True to its claim of being a restaurant that focuses on healthy food, we were served a salad with watercress, rocket salad, sliced cucumber, watermelon, cherry tomatoes, and heart-healthy macadamia nuts. Another healthy dish that we had was the grilled seabass. Taking it for granted that Mad Cow offers Western-style food, I was I bit surprised to see the fish dish carry a heavy Vietnamese accent. It not only had a whiff of Vietnamese fish sauce, it was only served on a banana leaf and adorned with fried onion and lemongrass threads. We soon learnt that it was a signature dish at Mad Cow.

The barbecue section continued, with plates of charcoal-grilled striploin of free range Wagyu beef served with butter sauce. As a meat lover, I could not but exclaim “wow” on seeing the dish – the outside had the exact brown colour grilled meat should have, and the inside remained moist with a beautiful ruby colour. Matching its perfect appearance was its taste – very tender and succulent.

Hotel representative Lê Thị Ngọc Cương told us with evident pride that Mad Cow’s expert culinary team brings each cut of meat to flavourful perfection on their handmade charcoal grill. “All the dishes are grilled on charcoal,” she said.

The restaurant’s menu is just right for steak aficionados. It features premium and best quality beef, including Woodward range grass fed beef and Wagyu from premier cattle regions around Australia. Mad Cow’s vision is to be the customers’ first choice for Australian meat, including beef, Wagyu, veal and lamb.

The menu also has a good selection of grilled seafood, including lobsters, oysters and prawns. 

As were really into getting ‘grilled’ that night, alongside fish and beef, we also enjoyed some grilled assorted green vegetables and mushroom, and assorted tuberous vegetables including carrot, red turnip, potato, and beetroot.

No fine dinner is complete without wine. And the restaurant’s motto is: “Mad about wine and serious about food.” It has a wine list of more than 50 labels from around the world at very accessible prices.   

Cương said that all the wines are on offer at the same price “you’d pay in a wine shop. We love wine and hope that our selection and pricing will allow our guests to enjoy it as much as we do”. We certainly did. – VNS


Mad Cow Wine&Grill

Address: 30th floor - Pullman Saigon Centre

148 Trần Hưng Đạo Boulevard, District 1, HCM City

Tel : +84 (0) 28 38388686

Opening time: 4pm-12am, daily

Comment: Affordable prices for 5-star quality food and service.