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A buffet paradise awaits at An Đông in HCM City

Update: July, 15/2018 - 09:00
Fresh fish: The sushi bar is the most visited spot at Café Central An Đông restaurant in HCM City. Photo Đình Nhi
Viet Nam News

With hundreds of dishes, Café Central An Đông restaurant never disappoints its loyal clientele who come back year after year for its delicious buffet, fresh seafood, and live cooking stations. Mỹ Duyên reports. 

What could go wrong with the largest buffet restaurant in HCM City? Very little, according to thousands of satisfied customers.

With 420 seats, including indoor and outdoors, and fabulous flavours from around the world, Café Central An Đông in the Windsor Plaza Hotel is an ideal destination for families and large groups.

Though it is located a bit far from downtown in District 5, formerly known as Great Market or Chinatown, it never fails to attract a large number of visitors thanks to its variety of dishes and live cooking demonstrations.

Besides the quality of its food, the restaurant is known for its reasonable prices and dedicated service.

An impressive Chinese-style interior greets you at the main entrance, while the live cooking stations welcome guests with dozens of hot dishes on your left and an array of mouthwatering desserts on your right.

With such a large dining space, including private areas, diners can be choosy about where they want to sit. 

In the restaurant’s central area, bowls of cooked fresh seafood on ice and drink counters surprised my eight-year-old twins, who declared it a “heaven for seafood”.   

With such a vast array of dishes, my kids were a bit overwhelmed with the buffet’s offerings. Our strategy was to roam the area first to look at everything and then return to our starting point to choose the most enticing dishes.

For lunch, there are around 100 dishes, and for dinner, at least 150. Aside from a wide selection of Chinese, Vietnamese, other Asian and international favourites, on offer is also a wide array of live seafood such as tiger prawns, oysters, mud crab cooked to order; sizzling roasted US beef, a sushi bar and a full salad bar. 

As lovers of Japanese food, our first choice was the sushi bar. My children picked up rice rolls, prawn tempura (their favourite), and chawanmushi (steamed egg) while I chose sashimi items.

At the long buffet table, I decided to skip the hot dishes, despite the wide variety, which included Vietnamese steamed rice cakes, Huế-style beef vermicelli or Vietnamese beef noodle, stir-fried seafood noodle, clams steamed with lemongrass, sea snails sautéed with coconut milk, prawns sautéed with onion, Chinese stir-fried rice, pork ribs sautéed with sour and sweet sauce, and many more.

Nice catch: Sumptuous seafood on ice catches the eye as soon as you enter Café Central An Đông restaurant. Photo Đình Nhi
Cooking class: Children learn how to make cookies and cupcakes at the restaurant. Photo Đình Nhi
Fruit bowl: The fruit salad at Café Central is a specialty. Photo Đình Nhi

Instead, we went outside to order seafood dishes at the cooking stations. I chose a delicious crab dish, and my twins selected a stir-fry of mud crabs with tamarind sauce, as well as grilled prawns with the Vietnamese condiment of pepper, salt and lemon juice.

Our next dish, oysters baked with cheese, one of the most popular items on the menu, were perfectly cooked.  

Next up was the juicy, flavourful roasted beef (from the US) with black pepper sauce Brazilian style, which was served at our table by the chef.

With such a selection of meats, salads and vegetables, you might think that desserts were an afterthought. But not at all.

Vietnamese homemade cakes and black sticky rice sweet soup with coconut milk, also the pride of Cafe Central An Đông, were memorably good.

The sumptuous dessert selection also offers a kids’ corner for dining in or take-away, and among the favourites are cotton candy, hot chocolate with fresh fruit, fruit marshmallows, and of course, homemade ice cream.

My kids chose the ice cream and even tried to make some cotton candy on their own. For me, the black sticky rice sweet soup, which was served hot, was a fitting ending to the meal, though I did put a few ice cubes in it to quell the heat.

Finally, we were well and truly stuffed!  

This month, the restaurant launches a weekend sparkling brunch at VNĐ518,000++ including free flow of sparkling wine and a cooking class for children. The daily buffet is from VNĐ468,000++ for lunch and from VNĐ698,000++ for dinner.

The restaurant is also offering a cooking class for children aged four and up in which they can learn how to make pizza and Western and Vietnamese cookies. — VNS

 

 

Cafe Central An Đông     

Address: Fourth floor, Windsor Plaza Hotel, 18 An Dương Vương Street, District 5, HCM City

Tel: (028) 38336688
Hours: 6am-10pm every day

Comment: Perfect for family or group-style dining, fine hospitality, reasonable prices (from VNĐ68,000++/dish and from VNÑ468,000++ for buffet). A kids’ corner is available.

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