From the doorstep to the decorative objects and graffiti on the walls, La Grupa Steak House states a message: meat is the only thing that matters. Minh Thu takes the knife and fork.
SUCCULENT: Amerian steak served at La Grupa Restaurant comes with sauce, fries and salad. VNS Photo Minh Thu
When I ask my children where they want to eat, they always choose La Grupa Steak House. But the odd thing is when they get there they usually opt for something that's not meaty at all. They choose the restaurant just because they love the Russian salad.
La Grupa Steak House serves the best Russian salad, they say.
The combination of beans, potatoes, ham, eggs and carrots are so creamy and buttery. Like many other children aged from three to seven, they hate vegetables, but what a surprise to see they love this salad. So the first thing I order at La Grupa Steak House is always the Russian salad.
The menu also satisfied the kids this time with French fries and mashed potatoes with cheese. They were determined to order three dishes before moving to bolognese pasta with minced beef and carbonara pasta with salmon.
I was wondering if they'd like the new dishes, but the food was truly delicious and suited their tastebuds, which was evident because they ate twice as much as they normally would at home.
I tried the salmon spaghetti and it was extraordinary. The shiny, firm threads of pasta were saturated in creamy sauce, topped by pink salmon fillets. The scent of melting butter, Parmesan cheese and garlic had us salivating. I think what makes the dish such a success is the sauce, which is thick enough to linger on the lips.
The restaurant makes an impression with paintings of cows and a diagram of cuts of beef that helps people define loin, sirloin, shank and tenderloin.
The decor follows a Western style with comical quotes such as “meat - the main reason you are not a vegetarian”. The space reminds me of the noisy, crowded and modest steakhouses in American films.
The must-try dishes at La Grupa Steak House are the steaks, of course. You can choose different sauces such as cream, BBQ, mushroom or black pepper. Grilled lamb can be enjoyed with similar options. A main course comes with greens and bread or French fries.
SAUCEY: Baked salmon with passion fruit sauce. VNS Photo Anh Ngọc
My favourite is a medium rare steak served with mushroom sauce. When I cut into the steak, it glistened a juicy pink. The sauce was fragrant, creamy and sweet. Another recommendation is the grilled salmon with passion fruit sauce. The salmon was a little burnt on the surface but still rare inside preserving its nutrition and flavour. The sauce was both sweet and sour to awaken our senses.
TREAT: Russian salad is creamy and delicious. Photo courtesy of the restaurant
Lê Anh Ngọc, the owner, said she named La Grupa (that literally means group) as a rendezvous point for groups of friends and families.
“It’s not too luxurious or expensive, so it’s suitable for customers at all levels,” said Ngọc.
“The location of the restaurant is not costly like those in the Old Quarter or city centre, so it allows me to focus on the quality of the ingredients. I feel confident that my customers will enjoy American beef, Norwegian salmon and Australian lamb at a very affordable price.”
I trust her. The menu offers a wide range of delicacies at a good price: VNĐ119,000 for steak, VNĐ149,000 for salmon and VNĐ189,000 for lamb. The restaurant is an ideal option for dining out at the weekend. VNS