Photo Courtesy of InterContinentalFloating on the gently lapping shores of Hanoi’s West Lake emerges a structure that almost appears from the early morning mist: InterContinental Hanoi Westlake. It is built into the lake itself and contains three restaurants; one being Saigon, a fresh take on Vietnamese food, affording patrons impressive views and equally impressive fare.
The beautifully decorated hotspot of a restaurant is infused with dark woods, vibrant red furnishings, and aromas as rich as the décor. Birdhouse lanterns seemingly float in air and the 2nd floor restaurant’s entry glows from the flooring, welcoming guests to the chic dining locale. Overlooking the lake and pool, the views are almost half the fun.
Located to the north of the Old Quarter, InterContinental Westlake is ideally situated in Hanoi. Close by to sites such as the Imperial Palace, Fine Arts Museum and easy access to the airport, InterContinental is home to both business and leisure travelers alike in its serene setting away from the busy streets of the city.
Executive Chef Eric Fettke oversees all the restaurants, but holds a special place in his heart for the fresh ingredients and the made-to-order preparations of Saigon. "Great flavors and great combos are the key things of cooking,” Chef Fettke beams. “Nothing is done here in advance at Saigon, it is all done fresh.” And the patrons notice; from the crunch of vegetables to the melt-in-your mouth fish and meats selection. If fresh is the key, Saigon has unlocked the door.
The Indochinese theme focuses on Asian fusions from Singapore, Thai fare, and traditional Vietnamese dishes. Utilizing local ingredients and inspirations, the culinary team is spot-on with truly triumphant starters such as Mawk Mak Phet, chili peppers stuffed with fish, barbecued and served with chili jam; and Epok Epok, Singaporean curry puffs with beef, parsnips, and curry in a light crispy pastry.
Service is divine throughout the meal with special attention turned towards guests. From presentation to clearing, the unparalleled Vietnamese service is a noticeable touch at this fine dining establishment. Entrées are no exception to the golden standard with authentic Vietnamese presentations and mouth-bursting flavors.
Steamed Garoupa, a fresh water fish, is served whole with crisp garden vegetables and herbs. Roast BBQ Duck with bok choy and dipping sauce has a fine crunch and rich flavor. The crowning achievement from the entrée selection is the classic Vietnamese Beef in a black pepper sauce, an absolute must while in the city of Hanoi.
From curries and creative side dishes to tasty delicacies on the dessert menu, Saigon is a true treat in the capitol of Vietnam-Hanoi. InterContinental Hanoi Westlake’s Saigon Restaurant is a must for those seeking inspired cuisine, a stunning view, and a luxury property while traveling in Hanoi. Minutes from city center and a half-hour from the airport, the central location affords travelers a unique retreat in the bustling city, whether searching for a quiet dinner at Saigon or a full stay at the on-lake property. To make reservations at Saigon, visit ICHotelsGroup.com.