On a Vietnamese trail

On a Vietnamese trail

Food festival

On a Vietnamese trail

Celebrating Vietnam and its culture is ‘Benjarong’ with its Saigon festival by expert chefs Nguyen ThiNho and Ly Kim Ngan. The young chefs hail from Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon.

Ask chef Nguyen ThiNho about the festival and she says, “We wanted to bring the flavours of Vietnam to the city and celebrate our food with the world. As the city has a lot of foodies who like to explore different cuisines, this festival gives them a chance to try something new. It took a lot of work to match the flavour palates with the taste we have back home but our hardwork has paid off.”

With the ongoing festival, the expatriate chefs are in the country for a month. They will also be flying to Chennai and Kolkata for the food festival in other ‘Benjarong’ restaurants.

Chef Ly Kim Ngan says, “Bengaluru has been very good to us so far. The autorickshaw rides are very funny and amusing. I love having ‘onion dosa’, ‘appam’ and ‘chicken curry’ here. Though many like having the ‘parotta’ with a curry, I prefer mine with ‘payasam’.”

The duo hopes to make some time between the restaurant hours to explore other things in the city. One of the things that chef Nguyen is looking forward to trying is ‘chicken biryani’.

The festival features one-of-a-kind delicacies curated by the chefs. The menu includes a wide range of mocktails, appetisers, salads, soups, main course dishes and desserts. The ‘Gaoi Cuon Tom vdi Tuong Ngot va Do Chua’ (Vietnamese fresh shrimp spring rolls dipped in fermented bean sauce and mixed pickle) is a great start to the meal. For the main course, ‘Cary Ga Nuoc Cot Dua’ (Vietnam chicken curry in coconut gravy) and ‘Ca Khi To’(caramelised fish in clay pot) go perfectly well with ‘Com Chien Hat Sen va Thit haoc Hai San’ (fried rice with lotus seeds wrapped in lotus leaf) and ‘jasmine rice’. To end the meal, there is ‘mung bean cake’ and ‘crystal steamed banana cake served with coconut cream’. 

The Saigon festival is on till July 24. ‘Benjarong’ is located at 1/3, Ulsoor Road, behind Manipal Center.