Brasserie Restaurant at Ho Tram Strip
Brasserie is the Ho Tram Strip’s primary French and Western fusion restaurant - and a delightful surprise for those who give it a chance. At the helm is Chef Jeans Francois Meteigner, trained in some of the finest Michelin starred restaurants of Southern France. He has been working at the Ho Tram Strip for two years now, shaping Brasserie into what it is today.
Brasserie’s style was handled by MGM before the international casino group dropped out. The restaurant ended up looking like a mash-up of various European styles.
Despite some strange decor choices, the ambiance is set up well, with proper cutlery, soft lighting and a beautiful presentation of dishes. A piano rests nearby, musicians frequently playing jazz simultaneously to Brasserie and Ju Bao Xuan, the Cantonese restaurant across the concourse.
The mood relies less on the restaurant’s aesthetics and more on the fundamental elements, which Brasserie does exceptionally: the service, the food, the presentation, are all top notch.
From our time at Brasserie, the service during our course was outstanding. Chef Meteigner, coming as he does from a career in two and three star Michelin-star restaurants, has a firm grasp of what five star service looks and feels like. The waiters refilled our water at the appropriate times, poured our beverages in the proper manner, spoke English well, knew the menu and were overall unobtrusive, but at once attentive.
When we said we would not have wine that night, all wine glasses were promptly taken away, leaving just the water glasses on the table. This sort of attention to detail elevates the overall experience.
Food & Drinks
The food at Brasserie came as a surprise. Not because we didn’t expect a resort restaurant to be on par with some of Vietnam’s best standalone eateries, but because Chef Meteigner has managed to sustain such a level of quality in a facility that has nine other F&B outlets and a large amount of staff and responsibilities under his supervision.
Once we were seated, the Chef presented us with a series of dishes, all well presented and served at appropriate intervals.
Seafood minestrone with seaweed, penne and pesto sauce - VND 180,000
With just the right amount of salt, this classic Italian soup was fresh, savory and had superb consistency. It was missing a bit of herbs, but was still a good example of the French staple.
House smoked salmon with toasted bagel, horseradish cream and capers - VND 240,000
Light, delicate and house-smoked Norwegian salmon with thin slices of toasted bagel. The salmon on its own fares well - soft, clean slices that feel and taste as fresh as an import can be. The additional dip was nice too.
Baked escargot with garlic, butter, basil and cilantro butter - VND 210,000
Tender and nowhere as tough as the local variety, the snails were at once familiar and simultaneously exotic, having the addition of local herbs to create something different entirely.
Vietnamese oysters: baked or raw with condiments - VND 210,000
Three of the oysters were baked with cheese. The other three were raw, fresh and served with a bit of lime, salt and chilli. If you’re an oyster fan, we recommend you simply order all six raw.
Double lamb chops, dry herbs, garlic, mint jus, puff potato - VND 720,000
Medium rare, tender and beautifully spiced with herbs and garlic, these lamb chops are made all the better with the gentle jus, making for a succulent bite of wonderfully cooked lamb.
Roasted jumbo prawns with lemon butter sauce, cilantro and mashed potato - VND 590,000
Mashed potatoes and prawn? It works. The potatoes were buttery and not too thick, playing well with the steamed spinach on the side. The jumbo prawn was juicy and spiced, contributing to a particularly flavorful dish.
Grilled swordfish, risotto cake, tomatoes chilli creole sauce - VND 400,000
The light, easy tomato sauce and complementary spices definitely livened up this tender, buttery swordfish fillet. The risotto cake was an odd pairing, but worked well with the fish.
Beef rossini with seared foie gras, grilled asparagus, mashed potato and morel sauce - VND 920,000
The beef was some of the most tender we’ve had in Vietnam. This came as a delightful surprise - the beef itself is quite thick, yet cooked exceptionally well. Medium rare and a beautiful light red inside, tender all the way through, this was the highlight dish of the night. The pepper sauce, mashed potatoes and cream only served to heighten the sensory experience.
Homemade French fries - VND 80,000
For VND 80,000 you get large, English-style chips, slightly crispy on the outside, fluffy inside. If you have some sauce from the above dishes lying around, forget the ketchup and hot sauce and dip these quality wedges for a delightful side dish.
Vanilla creme brulee and almond tuile - VND 98,000
Fluffy with a great milky vanilla taste swirling about, the creamy sweetness beneath the ever-thin burnt sugar is quite a treat, especially with the wafers (almond tuile) on the sides for added texture.
French creme caramel with exotic fruits - VND 68,000
Thick, creamy pudding with a savory layer of caramel on top - not overly saccharine and a nice meal finisher, especially for the price.
Banana crepe with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce - VND 98,000
First-rate homemade ice cream with soft, warm banana crepe is a necessary combination - a must try for dessert fans.
Thin apple tart with cinnamon sugar and vanilla ice cream - VND 98,000
Layered with care and attention, the resulting pastry is a wonderful combination of warm and cold, similar to the banana crepe. This was our personal favorite dessert because the layers were so well done.
What Could Be Improved
- The decor. Even Chef Meteigner was vocal about MGM’s questionable choices. But it’s not half-bad and the Chef has plans to change it in the future.
- There are only two toilets for both men and women so during peak hours you sometimes wait in a cue.
- The bar at the Brasserie closes at midnight - somewhat off-putting for a casino resort.