Vietnamese food with it’s use of fresh ingredients, more affluence to flavors and its ability to stick with simplicity has been one of our favorite cuisines. From a bowl of Pho to the lovely spring rolls, enticingly done Banh Mi to meat on skewers, Vietnamese food right now is spreading it’s wings around the world.
So it was no surprise with Lemon Tree, Gachibowli doing a Vietnamese Food Festival at it’s specialty Asian restaurant, Republic of Noodles. With a new Chef Kiran at the helm, the kitchens of the RON at the Lemon Tree, Gachibowli have now been smoothed out. We started off with a delicious bowl of Chiang Mai Noodle Soup which packs a little bit of spice with a beautiful refreshing tone of the coconut milk along with noodles and chicken. The Mang & Con Vit is a duck and Bamboo shoot soup. I quite liked the flavors of the duck morsels in my soup but felt it a little saucier than normal.
Nuoc Cham, the most famous of the Vietnamese dipping sauces is showcased deliciously in the Nuoc Cham Lamb Sticks. The lamb are left to marinate for quite a while in the sauce along with lemon grass and then cooked on a lemongrass skewer. Ga Chien Lan Bot is a perfect beer accompaniment. Crispy chicken with a sweet and sour sauce, what isn’t to love about that? The Hatien Style Vietnamese Basa which are tender fish marinated in basil was the best one we had among the appetizers that night.
There is quite a lot of options on the Vegetarian appetizers menu too. Instead of the lamb satay the vegetarians can choose to have the Bean Curd Satay. The quintessential Vietnamese Spring Rolls feature elegantly too in the menu and are paired with a peanut plum sauce. I quite liked the Taro Cake among the vegetarian appetizers we had that night. The Taro Cake is a colocasia, potato and vegetable cake as quite a melt in the mouth.
The best part about Republic of Noodles at the Lemon Tree Hotels is that you can have any dish of your choice in the choice of meat you want to have it with. There is superlative choosing of the chef but rather the customer gets to choose his/her meat and dish. So almost all of the main course listed that night could be had with an option of chicken, red meats, chicken/duck or seafood. Along with the Vietnamese Fried Rice and Noodles, we had quite a hefty amount of main course dishes.
The Cuu Nuong Dau Lanh goes perfectly with the rice and is quite a red gravy made with chilly bean sauce. The Roasted Lamb and button mushrooms in the curry was amazing with some haricot beans thrown in there. But if we had to list out our choices among the main course dishes then two stood out way among the others. They were the haricot beans, mushrooms and broccoli in bean curd sauce (Chien, Xao Dau Ha Lan, Nam, Cai Xanh) and the Vietnamese Cari which essentially is a coconut milk base gravy with exotic vegetables.
The Vietnamese use a lot of moong beans in their dessert. Being a country with a major rice-eating population, the desserts make use of rice too. I quite really liked the Xai Dau Xanh Dua, rice with moong beans and coconut cream. A little more coconut cream in the dessert would have made it so much better though. The Che Ba Mau on the other hand was amazing though. Sago, Water Chestnuts in a bowl of coconut cream. There was a polishing effort that it took us to complete the dessert.
The Vietnamese Food Festival is on at the Lemon Tree, Gachibowli from the 15th-25th of September 2016.