An unassuming place, at least from the street, Saffron announces itself as a Mediterranean Bistro, and is owned by the same people who own Ciao Bella. It is a new opened restaurant in Hai Ba Trung Street.
I arrived at the restaurant after a long day in Ho Chi Minh after receiving good reports from friends
The restaurant space itself is similar to Ciao Bella but with a different design approach: scenes of Mykonos and Santorini, large mirrors, a clever use of pots fixed to the ceiling and two different colour schemes in the space: blue and white in the rear and earthy tones at the entry.
It is an unpretentious restaurant at that the outset, like Ciao Bella is all about the food.
And the food is great! We were encouraged to have share plates which are somewhere between an appetiser and a main course in size. I ordered the lamb shanks, the cheese saganaki and the chorizo/lamb meatballs. Three is enough for two people.
To describe in order: The saganaki is amazing: fried french cheese with an overlay of pesto delivered on a sizzling cast iron plate and glazed with flamed cognac. This is a spectacular dish likely to become their signature dish: the flavours combine and complement each other beautifully.
The chorizo is also spectacular: spicy and strongly flavoured with a coulis of tomato to cool things down.
The lamb shanks the most subtle of the three: the lamb very tender in a bed of cous cous. Subltle but very elegant. Eat these in that order and you will dine happily!
The service like Ciao Bella is superb and the staff are well trained. A glass of bubbly at the beginning when you arrive and a limoncella at the end
Oh and I almost forgot: we had the chocolate bread and butter pudding as a desert. A wonderful end to the meal - it has a great mousse like texture offset by the icecream - decadent and delicious.
If you are dining in Ho Chi Minh you must include this on your list. It is that good. It is 5 star dining at a very reasonable price.
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