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Long-established Brodard Bakery opens first restaurant

Update: December, 22/2019 - 08:00

 

Brodard Restaurant - Tea House - Pastry offers a delicious selection of festive themed cakes, pastries, chocolates and cookies. VNS Photo Minh Phi.

When my daughter asked me to find “somewhere beautiful” to eat and take Christmas photos, I wasn't sure where to go since some restaurants do not allow young children.

But the recently opened Brodard Restaurant – Tea House – Pastry in downtown HCM City turned out to be the perfect spot.

Located on Đồng Khởi Street, the new two-storey flagship restaurant, which evokes the former French colonial era, features a casually elegant atmosphere.

Many HCM City residents are familiar with the Brodard brand, which has been synonymous with quality pastries for seven decades. Its much-beloved Brodard Bakery, which has several locations in the city, has been producing high-quality baked goods in Việt Nam for decades.

Tuna salad, cauliflower soup, and duck liver are a great start to your meal. VNS Photo MinhPhi.

When it first opened in 1948, the Brodard Bakery was on Rue Catinat (now Đồng Khởi Street), in its day the most stylish and elegant boulevard in Sài Gòn.

The bakery, which had a small café for years until it later closed, was a popular gathering place for artists, intellectuals and journalists. In fact, it was referred to informally as the Saigon Press Centre because correspondents from around the world would wait for the latest news over a cup of coffee and European-style dessert.

Its new flagship downtown is Brodard's first fine dining restaurant, with an extensive menu of French classics and a delightful selection of specialty breads, pastries and cookies and cakes. In addition, there is a wide range of premium coffees, specialty teas, juices, smoothies, and ice creams with prices ranging from VNĐ48,000 to 98,000.

USDA beef tenderloin with mustard sauce is among the standout dishes at Brodard. VNS Photo MinhPhi.

To prepare for its big opening, the colonial-era façade of the building was fully restored and the interior laid with black-and-white marble tile floors above which hang sparkling chandeliers from vaulted ceilings.

Diners can go upstairs for a meal, or just hang out with a drink or pastry downstairs and people-watch on one of the city’s most famous streets.

With its new concept, the restaurant has won over fans of the old Brodard brand. And our family was no exception. 

My twins and I were impressed with the pastries and French classics, and as lovers of western-style sweets we liked the ground-floor patisserie as soon as we stepped inside.

The centerpiece of the venue is an open kitchen where you can see Brodard’s skilled pastry team make exquisite pastries. An extensive selection of freshly homemade pastries and chocolates, teas, high-quality coffee by Perfetto Caffe, and cold refreshing drinks are all on offer.

“Wow, the smell from the pastries fills the air,” said my daughter, who wanted to immediately eat something sweet, but I insisted that we first eat dinner. 

The traditional brasserie upstairs includes an extensive list of French wines and classic French dishes, including favourites such as roast chicken, bouillabaisse with slow-cooked seafood, lobster thermidor with organic greens, poached eggs with foie gras, asparagus and truffles, and USDA tenderloin beef with mustard sauce, starting from VNĐ248,000.

The new flagship Brodard Restaurant - Tea House – Pastry features elegant casual dining, a tea house and the finest pastries. VNS Photo Minh Phi

 

Breakfast starts at an affordable VNĐ68,000 rate, while the dinner menu ranges between VNĐ158,000 and VNĐ398,000. Main courses begin at VNĐ198,000.

For starters, we chose a cauliflower soup (VNĐ138,000), foie gras terrine and duck rillette, pickled onion and toasted sourdough (VNĐ398,000), and tuna salad (VNĐ248,000).

“This is incredibly rich,” my daughter said of the cauliflower soup, while the foie gras terrine went perfectly with my Chardonnay wine from France.

The menu also offers a great selection of drinks, Brodard’s signature cocktails, and imported wines, but I ordered a cookie milkshake for my daughter and a chocolate milk for my son for VNĐ128,000 each.  

For the main course, we opted not to choose from the tempting burgers and sandwiches starting at VNĐ168,000, and chose two USDA-beef dishes with mustard sauce (VNĐ788,000) for my twins, and a fish filet wrapped and baked with lemon and asparagus (VNĐ318,000) for me.

If diners want something extra, side dishes include truffle mashed potatoes, French fries, and spinach, among others, from VNĐ98,000 each.

 “It’s quite a nice place and they offer my favourites,” my daughter said after she had inspected the ground floor while we waited for our main dishes. 

We were even more delighted when our main courses arrived. The fish with lemon and asparagus was fragrant and delicious, and my daughter thought the beef was tender and rich, though she wasn’t wild about the sauce. However, my son loved his beef dish and special sauce.

The twins wanted even more but I insisted that they make room for dessert, reminding them that “there’s a fine selection of mouthwatering desserts and gelato that you shouldn’t miss”.  

My daughter chose a crème brulee (VNĐ128,000) and I ordered a cashew gelato (VNĐ58,000), a new flavour and one of the most popular at Brodard. As a lover of chocolate, my son could barely wait for the chocolate fondant cake with vanilla ice cream (VNĐ128,000).

All three dishes were standout items, especially the gelato!

Before leaving, I promised my twins that I would buy festive cookies and holiday sweets for our Christmas celebration at home. For the season, Brodard has added a delicious selection of pastries, including gingerbread houses, cookies, traditional Christmas yule logs, and chocolate Santas, all made of quality ingredients and beautifully and skillfully packaged. 

Special holidays, however, are not the only time to visit Brodard. In fact, it is a lovely venue any day or night of the week. VNS

 

 

 

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