Saturday, 19 May 2012

La Badiane @ Ha Noi, Vietnam


My last of my Vietnam Culinary Adventures was at La Badiane. La Badiane is a French restaurant located in a small street in the Hoan Kiem District. It was created in 2008 by 3 French friends, and it is now slowly becoming the top rated restaurants in Ha Noi. One of the creators was there, and hearing him speak Vietnamese, and then French amazed me and made me more excited to eat. The restaurant decor it a mix of garden cafe meets beach, due go the colour of the restaurant, plants, chairs and the displayed photographs of water and beaches.

Duck French rillettes
A rillette is a preparation of meat similar to pate, the difference being that pate is more of a paste and rillette has more of a solid consistency. The reason for the textural difference is that the meat for a rillette is cubed as a pate is minced. When the opportunity to eat duck at a French restaurant arises I go straight for it. This entree was a great start to the meal for me, the crunch of the bread was unbelievable. On the top, and between the bread there was a lovely subtle spread. All went so well together.

Potato Salad
This was definitely not what you expect a potato salad to look like. The potato was combined with peas, fresh herbs and topped with a small salad. There was an ample amount of a mustard flavour which is usually not evident in a potato salad. Texture wise though, it was still creamy with the potatoes having the correct consistency.

Crab meat spring rolls
This entree reminded me slightly of a seafood sushi roll, without the seaweed. Instead, the outside was composed of rice paper rolls, like those used to make pho cuon or banh cuon. It was accompanied with a seafood type sauce.

Beef Carpaccio in citrus dressing
This dish was constantly reviewed on TripAdvisor, with some saying it was good, and others saying it was bad. I took the risk, tried it and judged for myself. The main risk associated with this dish is the concept of raw beef slices (especially when you are in a foreign country). The acidity in the dressing, and grapefruit placed on top kill a lot of bacteria, which therefore makes the dish safe to eat. There was a balance of citrus, salt and sweetness (from the Vietnam limes/oranges). The croutons added the crunch to the dish. My overall judgement on the dish is tasty and I did not have any repercussions. 

Beetroot Carpaccio with asparagus
A vegetarian option on the menu where the beetroot was finely sliced served with an array of vegetables. The asparagus was not overcook and had still obtained its crunch. The  cheese that came with the dish was nice and soft, and didn't over power the overall taste of the dish. 

Duck "Parmentier" in Arabic Spices
In summary, this dish was a Shepard's pie, but instead of beef (which is what is generally used) it was duck. The sauce was a light gravy which wasn't too over powering or heavy. The potato was soft and creamy, which coincided with the delicate duck meat that melted in your mouth. 

Thickly sliced brioche that was coated in a light sugar syrup topped with icing sugar. The plate was dressed with a little bit of honey, and a strawberry sauce. This was a nice dessert, but would be an even better breakfast. 

Yoghurt mousse with crispy rice and passion fruit sauce
The concept of yoghurt is slowly growing on me. The dessert was okay, but not something I could eat a lot of. The passionfruit with the crispy rice was different, but nice (most likely due to the fact I enjoy anything with passionfruit).

Stewed apples in cinnamon with caramelised hazelnuts
This dessert was definitely too weird for me. I tried a spoonful, and it just reminded me of baby food. I have realised, I don't think I like the concept of using apples in desserts, unless it is cake. 

Creme Brulee done 3 ways (left to right): Vanilla & Pistachio, Chocolate & Peppercorn 
and Raspberry & Thyme

Reading this dish on the menu was an opportunity I could not turn down. All the creme brulees had the wonderful crack of burnt sugar and a smooth custard. The combination of different flavours was very intriguing. The vanilla and pistachio went extremely well together. The chocolate and peppercorn was strange, where the chocolate was fine, but once mixed with a bite of the peppercorn, the concept turned weird. I think if it was topped with a bit of chilli, it may have worked a lot better. Lastly, the raspberry and thyme was my favourite of the 3. A different mix that worked, providing a strangely nice fusion of flavours.

The overall dining experience equated to roughly USD $20pp, including drinks. Fine dining in Vietnam is extremely cheap compared to Australia, so if you ever get the opportunity, just go for it! 

Good food, good times!


Anonymous 19 May 2012 at 21:03

crispy rice with mousse sounds like a good combo :)

Phillip Nom 22 May 2012 at 00:40

OMG I visited this place too in April! I did not like this place. Yes it's dirt cheap but the chef tries way too hard and does not know when to stop with things on a plate! The only common dish I had was the Trio of Brulees though :)

thanhalang 23 June 2012 at 21:02

Yeh, i noticed there were lots of sprinkles of paprika. But the trio of brulees was pretty tasty!

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