The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Vietnamese @ Le Soleil, Hong Kong

Hello from NYC! How we have missed this city. We arrived in the wee hours of Saturday night/Sunday morning after a lengthy 16-hour flight, and we are still adjusting to the opposite timezone. Our almost-4-year-old boy was a champ on the flight, something I attribute to being well-travelled since infancy. The lack of sleep didn't prevent us from going out and about on Sunday and eating good food, and I will share photos on my blog later. For now, I want to share about the delicious Vietnamese lunch we had last weekend at Le Soleil, the Hong Kong branch of the popular San Francisco restaurant.

A nice water feature in the middle of Le Soleil's dining area:

Le Soleil's location on the open mezzanine level of The Royal Garden doesn't allow for much privacy, so it's probably not suitable for an intimate date. I liked the open atmosphere and the natural light, although not so much the fact that anyone walking out of their hotel room on the upper levels have full view into the restaurant. Service was professional and attentive, and our trainee waitress did a pretty good job. The food wasn't strictly Vietnamese, and many of the dishes were Thai or had Thai influences. We could order from the a-la-carte menu as well as the tasting menu, but I couldn't go past the attractively-priced lunch sets.

Our table's centrepiece were fruits of the lotus, which was very green. The lotus flowers, seeds, leaves and "roots" are edible and widely used in Asian cooking:

All of the lunch sets were priced either at HK$128 or HK$148, and included appetiser, main and dessert courses, with a few options to choose for each of the appetiser and main courses. Vietnamese coffee and lotus tea were also included.

Hubby ordered a coconut milk drink with coloured strips of jelly and tapioca - it was nice and refreshing:


Hubby chose the Coconut Soup with Seafood for his appetiser, but I have neglected to upload the photo which is sitting on the computer at home on the other side of the world. It was sour, similar to tom yum but with coconut milk added. It's a nice choice if you like sour soup like me.

The boy's appetiser: Fried Spring Roll, Vietnamese Sausage and Fresh Roll with Prawn. All three were delicious:

For my appetiser, I went with the Vietnamese Cabbage Salad with Chicken. This was very tasty, with the right balance of sweet, sour and salty, and the crunchy cabbage was a nice textural contrast to the tender shredded chicken:

Main Course

For main course, hubby went for the Thai Green Seafood Curry, served with pandanus rice. The curry was very flavoursome, thick and creamy with coconut, and surprisingly fiery:

The kid wanted the Fried Noodles with Grilled Pork Cheek, which was a tasty choice. It was similar to pad thai, with an unexpected wok hei aroma. The strips of pork cheek were too tough and chewy for the boy, but this was a good plate of noodles in general:

I chose the Baked Cod with Mango Sauce, served with toasted garlic bread. This was such a pleasure to eat. I loved the juicy tender cod, and the mango sauce complemented it well. I only wished there was more of it:


Dessert was mixed jelly with mango and coconut cream, which was refreshingly light and a colourful end to the meal:

We had an enjoyable meal at Le Soleil. The restaurant was quite popular for lunch that Sunday, and it didn't take long before the tables filled up and a queue started up. It's probably worth making reservations in advance to avoid having to wait for a table.

[Prices quoted above are exclusive of the 10% service charge.]

Le Soleil Vietnamese Restaurant
3/F, The Royal Garden
69 Mody Road
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel. +85 2 2733 2033

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