Sunday, August 19 2018

VietNamNews

At 70, Movenpick Hotel still delicious

Update: March, 25/2018 - 09:00
Cosy: Movenpick Hotel’s Mangosteen Restaurant. Photo courtesy of Movenpick Hotel Hà Nội
Viet Nam News

Authentic European and Asian cuisine with contemporary flair are on offer at the Movenpick as it celebrates its 70th anniversary, Hà Nguyễn finds.

In honour of the 70th anniversary of the Movenpick Group, Chef Hoàng Nguyên at the Mangosteen Restaurant inside Hà Nội’s Movenpick Hotel has reimagined the menu to pay tribute to the company’s founding principle: doing ordinary things in an extraordinary way. I was honoured to be invited to try the new dishes last week.

Chef Nguyên said that to celebrate seven decades of culinary excellence and innovation, Thomas Hollenstein, Food & Beverage Director Europe, and his team of chefs unveiled a menu of seven healthy dishes that update popular classics for the modern palate, inspired by cuisines and gastronomy trends from around the world. The dishes are served at Mövenpick hotels worldwide until April 20.

“Our seven inventive dishes also aim to pay tribute to Ueli Prager, who redefined the European restaurant scene and paved the way for a new style of modern hospitality when he founded the Movenpick brand in 1948,” said Nguyên.

“Just as Prager introduced diners to unpretentious cuisine with a twist, such as curry-based Riz Casimir – a first in Europe – 70 years on, Mövenpick chefs have created an inspiring menu of uncomplicated but surprising creations, all of which use fresh, authentic and healthful ingredients,” he said.

I highly recommend selecting the full-course menu in order to taste all the best creations from Nguyên, who said he used Hollenstein’s recipes and tweaked them to suit the ingredients available in Hà Nội.

First we were served scallops and avocado tartare (VNĐ200,000), a dish I had never had before. It stood out for its rich, creamy texture and light taste.

I asked Nguyên about history of the dish.

“Our reinvention of Movenpick’s popular beef tartare has been influenced by Mediterranean cuisine, with an emphasis on ingredients that are big on flavour and health giving benefits,” he said. “The beef is replaced with succulent scallops, accompanied by avocado and olives, which together make for a wholesome dish. Infused with just the right balance of fresh garlic, basil and chilis, this is a modern classic in the making.”

We continued with the salade belle fermiere (VNĐ160,000). Ingredients included BBQ seasoning (ready made), chicken breasts, sea salt, rapeseed oil and seasonings such as mayonnaise, sweet pepper, lemon and ginger.

The salad was comprised of mesclun leaves, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, colourful heirloom tomato slices radish and horseradish. The taste was rich yet subtle and not overwhelming.

Light: Salade belle fermiere.
Gastronomic: Mille-feuille saumon & caviar d’ olive.
Best ever: Bare beef burger.

Next up was mille feuille saumon & caviar d’olive (VNĐ225,000). I was interested in the dish because the delicate smoked salmon and puff pastry slice paired with a golden olive caviar takes its cues from molecular gastronomy techniques.

The translucent caviar pearls dissolve on the palate, releasing an intense olive oil flavour that perfectly complements the crispy pastry and aromatic smoked salmon.

A waiter then brought us mushrooms and vegetables Zurich style (VNĐ165,000). This meat free dish is colourful and contains a variety of textures, thanks to an enticing combination of aromatic root vegetables and smoky shitake mushrooms. These fungi, which originate from China, are bursting with B vitamins, magnesium, calcium and iron and have been revered for their energising qualities since the Ming Dynasty.

The party continued with seafood Casimir (VNĐ350,000). I’m a fan of seafood as well, and here, together with different kinds of sauces, was another dish cooked to perfection.

Before dessert, we were served the bare beef burger Café de Paris (VNĐ285,000). A special feature of this dish is the lean mince patty, an almost fat-free prime beef cut.

Chef Nguyên cooked the dish so well that at my first bite I thought it was foie gras. Really, it is the best burger I have ever enjoyed. Delicate and crispy ultra-thin fries dusted with Parmensan cheese accompany this dish, but it is otherwise carbohydrate free.

Then came the carrot waffle (VNĐ165,000) dessert. We were full, but we still enjoyed the dish. Its tangy mango compote perfectly complements the earthiness of the carrot, and the crunchy caramelised almonds with a touch of fleur de sel introduce texture and contrast.

These dishes not only take inspiration from Prager’s visionary approach to cuisine, but also his original idea for a new restaurant concept: a sophisticated yet relaxed place where guests could sample dishes at affordable prices. 

Prager’s first restaurant, Claridenhof, opened in Zurich in July 1948, offering simple dishes that could be ordered à la carte - a refreshing alternative to conventional set menus and the first of many Mövenpick innovations. 

In 1973, Prager capitalised on the brand’s reputation for quality food, affordability, staff training standards and innovation by opening the company’s first two hotels.

“Mövenpick’s story is astonishing, founded on a commitment to service, authenticity, culinary excellence and innovation, and in 2018 we celebrate these values and our rich heritage in the way we know best – by treating our guests around the world to an inspiring gastronomic experience,”  CEO of the Movenpick Hotels & Resorts Olivier Chavy, said.-- VNS

 

Mangosteen Restaurant at Movenpick Hotel in Hà Nội

Address: 83A Lý Thường Kiệt St, Hoàn Kiếm Dist, Hà Nội

Tel: 024 3822 2800

Opening time: 6am to 11pm

Comments: Authentic European and Asian cuisine with modern flair in a spectacular, cosy setting and refined hospitality.

 

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