Food Talks

Cungdinh Vietnam Article Rating

Posted by Monica! on February 18, 2008 - Filed under: Member Talks

Standing majestically at One Bangsar, CungDinh Vietnam is simply an expression of fine dining in absolute splendor. CungDinh which literally means & Royal Palace* is indeed set in such magnificence that a King would feel at home!

The entrance to the restaurant is a walkway paved in stones amidst lush greenery with a clear stream running through, just like the ones in a fairy tale. Large wooden doors then open up to a totally different world, a world of sophistication with a splash of Vietnam.

Soft yellow lighting scheme complement the wooden interior creating an atmosphere where fine dining is at its finest. Fully imported interior decorations and royal architecture furnishes the restaurant with Vietnam culture spread throughout the restaurant in such intrinsic detail. Exclusive handmade fixtures, hand painted posters, large lighted lanterns and wooden carving bring out the best of rich Vietnamese culture and heritage. Even the seats are cushioned with detailed Vietnamese batik. The waiters and waitresses here are dressed in a Vietnamese costume called the Ao Dai, and there is a replica of the Cham Temple which can be viewed if one chooses to dine alfresco at the balcony.

Vietnam cuisine is very unique with the taste, texture, cooking methods and presentation styles different in every region . The dishes served here are mainly from Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh and Hue. However 80% of the dishes here are Hue style. According to owner, Van Nguyen, a true blue Vietnamese who was born and bred in Hue, the restaurant was established because of her passion for authentic Vietnamese food. All chefs and staff here are Vietnamese. The ingredients used such as fish sauce, herbs and even the coffee beans are flown in from Vietnam. Van claims that local ingredients do not give the authentic taste of Vietnam and this originality sets CungDinh apart from the rest.

The restaurant concept is based on the typical dining experience at Hue, the ancient capital where the royal palace is located. The kings preferred many varieties of dishes in small portions and placed great importance on food presentation. Van Nguyen, in an attempt to establish a & Royal Palace* of her own, places utmost importance on the authenticity of the food, and especially its garnishing so that each dish does not only taste & home-cooked* but will also be visually appealing and for that, CungDinh has their very own specialist dedicated to carving and decoration.

Topping the list of must tries is the Hue Assortment or also known as Banh Hoe Thap Cam (RM41.90). This dish consists of a number of Vietnamese rolls which includes prawn cake, Hue rolls, banana leaf rice paste with minced prawns, tapioca rice cake with prawns, grilled beef wrapped in steamed rice cake and Hue spring rolls. The dish is served with five different sauces.

The Lotus Salad with lobster (RM45.90) is a rather interesting cuisine. The garnishing is more than enough to tempt your taste buds. The salad is a combination of pickled lotus stems that are imported from Vietnam, coriander, herbs and onions. It is served with a whole lobster and some special sauce. The taste is very exquisite. It is salad in a different perspective, something never before experienced.

If you are looking for a fish dish, Cha Ca La Vong or Pan fried Fish Fillet with Dill (RM29.90) is the way to go. Sea bass fillets are used and lightly fried with hardly any oil. Dill leaf, which looks somewhat between ferns and grass, are then scattered generously on top of the fish. It is eaten with sesame crackers and sauce.

The Coconut Rice (RM19.90) here is not merely rice cooked with coconut milk, as our local Nasi Lemak is done. It is rice, literally cooked in coconuts. The inner flesh of the coconut is still in tact, and a mixture of rice and seafood is cooked in the coconuts thus explaining the strong coconut flavour in the rice.

If you are looking for a refreshing drink to go with the authentic meal, try the limejuice, which is made of freshly squeezed preserved lime. The lime is imported from Vietnam, and it is bigger than the usual lime we have here and also has a very strong fragrant.

A visit to a Vietnam restaurant is not complete if you do not try their Ca phe which is Vietnamese coffee. Unlike our regular coffee joints, the coffee here does not come easy. It takes patience and perseverance before you actually get to drink your coffee. The coffee comes in a strainer placed on top of the glass, which is placed in a bowl of hot water so that you get hot coffee. When the coffee is served, the waiter will lift the strainer, and you have to wait awhile, for the coffee to drip bit by bit into the glass. After a long five to ten minutes wait, the coffee is ready. The aroma will tell you that it was indeed worth the wait as the coffee, though slightly strong, is fresh and absolutely heavenly.

CungDinh Vietnam is a place not to be missed as its exotic and authentic cuisine comes with culture, heritage, background and a splendid dining experience fit for royalty.

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