EON51 Fine Dining in Ho Chi Minh City raises the bar for high end, high up restaurants. This superb venue high above the streets of downtown Ho Chi Minh City is situated fifty-one storeys up in the Bitexco Financial Tower. Chef Cuong serves superb European food with an Asian twist. The restaurant design is clever; realising that the star of the visual show is the view, the interior has been made in a way to accentuate the large windows and the city they showcase.
The restaurant has created the perfect venue in which to enjoy your sky high dining experience. From the minute one enters, the open wine cellar and equally open kitchen create an inviting ambience and a welcoming atmosphere. The clean crisp linen and lovely cutlery, crockery and glassware all add to the high class feel of the place.
The service was quite simply faultless. Plates arrived and disappeared with the minimum of fuss and the maximum politeness. Wine glasses were topped up at just the right times, meals arrived precisely and at exactly the same time for the guests. The staff were polite and just friendly enough so as to not be obtrusive. They answered any questions that they were asked; everything one would want and expect from a restaurant delivering fine dining in Ho Chi Minh City.
The food and drink were magnificent, both in preparation and presentation. We went with Chef Cuong’s recommendations, and it didn’t disappoint. Despite going with fish, we chose a delightful red Bourgogne to accompany it and it worked well through the courses.
Deep water bay scallop with green asparagus, fennel pesto, black garlic, quail egg, truffle and red wine coulis
This was a real winner right from the off; the perfect balance of flavours all hinting at what might be to follow. The portion for us on this occasion was by way of an amuse bouche and it certainly did the job. The scallop was delicious, bursting with ripe, fresh flavour and aroma. The moistness of the seafood was matched by the crispness of the asparagus.
Pan seared foie gras with green tea crumb, spiced carrot, pumpkin puree with Xeres vinegar
This prize starter was beautifully presented and is the best foie gras I have had for a very long time. The green tea crumb on top set it off beautifully, adding that little bit of Asian pizzazz to one of the classics of European cuisine. The crisp carrots were topped off with coconut which was an unusual and effective combination - one I really liked.
Pineapple palate cleanser
A glass of strong pineapple juice to awaken the palate. This was utterly uplifting to the tongue, and left the mouth feeling cleansed and ready to go.
Roasted cod fish fillet drizzled with black olive tapenade and warm potato salad
Set off by a single prawn, this was simply superb. The fish was cooked to perfection and highlighted by the tapenade. The fish fell apart in flakes on the fork and retained all its moisture and flavour. Again the EON51 Fine Dining signature presentation was evident and the balance of ingredients really well thought out. This was the highlight of the evening for me, though my French dinner partner singled out the foie gras. It’s always a great sign when two diners struggle to find the highlight, and finish up with two different courses.
EON51 Fine Dining dessert sample of chef special tiramisu, milk chocolate mousse and balsamic glaze strawberry tart with vanilla ice cream
I enjoyed the juxtaposition of the rich chocolate and the light tart strawberries. The flavours were an apt contrast. The tiramisu was perfectly fine and again the overall presentation won the day.
Mignardises of strawberry macarons, shortbread biscuits and chocolate truffles with filo pastry
I really enjoyed these bite sized dessert canapés. They work superbly well at the end of a satisfying meal. The big winner for me of the whole experience was that wonderful feeling of being completed sated but not in the least bit over-full. Nothing spoils a meal more than getting to the dessert course, only to feel over-faced when it arrives.
It is not easy to find fault here. One small detail is that for a venue where the view is so important, some of the windows are in need of cleaning. This is however, one would suspect, out of their hands and firmly in the domain of the Bitexco Tower’s building management.
EON51 Fine Dining gets differing reviews on TripAdvisor. Some people comment negatively on price, whilst others seem perfectly happy to pay for a fine dining experience 51 floors up. The positive reviews are extremely positive, but it is certainly a mixed bag.