Say Hello Saigon and to This Nho and Ly Kim Ngan
It’s not the first time that Chennai’s longest running Thai restaurant has showcased Vietnamese cuisine. It’s also certainly not the first time we have all asked – Why does Chennai (that has a zillion Japanese and Korean restaurants) is still not home to a Vietnamese restaurant? That’s a discussion for another day but if Vietnamese is your scene, then you have until August 7 to land up in Benjarong.
This Nho and Ly Kim Ngan – the duo of Chefs (if the names are tough you can try – This Chef and That Chef) who’ve flown down from Ho Chi Minh City, don’t just have effervescent smiles, they can pull out some cool tricks from under their chef hats. Like Obama’s favourite soup – the ubiquitous Vietnamese Pho with generous quantities of beef and noodles thrown into a flavoursome broth. Of course the other Vietnamese staple – the rice paper rolls, is in the mix too (Try the prawn version).
The Caramelised fish in clay pot (for once we didn’t mind the Vietnamese Bassa),the Charcoal grilled beef on lemongrass sticks (lovely burst of flavours) and the Tofu stuffed with Mushroom are all must try dishes. End your meal with the delicate mung bean cake with its brilliant interplay of textures and mild sweet flavour. Of course you can also ask for Benjarong’s best selling Thai dessert – Thap Thim Krop (coloured water chestnut rubies floating in sweet coconut milk). That’s one reason I keep going back to Benjarong and Bangkok!
Benjarong is open for lunch and dinner and is at 132, TTK Road, Chennai – 18. Phone: (044) 2432-2640. Meal for 2: Rs 2000/-