Behind Ben Thanh Market, on the second ﬂoor of a constructing throughout the road, is an intriguing foodie expertise
Xi Xup Noodles & Tapas (Stage 1, 31B Thu Khoa Huan, D1) is a small, intimate room, seating round 20 diners inside with room for an extra 5 exterior. There are excessive tables with stools in the midst of the room and counter seating across the edges, complemented by a big window into the kitchen to observe the chef work his magic. Alongside the partitions are shows of assorted varieties of noodle strainers. The room is air conditioned, with ambient hip-hop enjoying within the background.
Opened for simply over a month, and with a menu as intimate because the restaurant, Xi Xup is troublesome to explain. The chef, an import from Hong Kong, reluctantly calls it Asian fusion, however that fails to explain the distinctive gastronomic expertise he creates. After sitting at a excessive desk and pouring a can of Winking Seal craft beer, a Child Fatso Dry Stout, the server introduced over uncooked oysters with Sriracha caviar, cucumber and calamansi granita on ice (a half dozen for VND138,000) for us. They have been clean and refined, simply hints of the spicy Sriracha and the tang of the calamansi granite, permitting the flavour of the oysters and caviar to return via in waves.
Uncooked oysters with Sriracha caviar
Subsequent got here salmon cones, that are small miso cones with salmon, wasabi yogurt espuma, sea grapes and native herbs (VND128,000). The flavour of the cream hits first, adopted rapidly by the extra reserved style of the salmon, then a contact of miso and ending with just a little warmth of the wasabi behind the throat, like a puzzle of layers being put along with every small chunk. Like all celebrated culinary delight, the flavors of the dishes at Xi Xup attain the palate in levels. After the salmon cones the server introduced what they name The Final Jedi to rejoice Could the Fouth Star Wars Day, that are handcrafted beetroot gyoza wrappers with wagyu and black truffle paste served with a soy and mirin dipping sauce (VND12,000okay). Whereas the wagyu is tender and savory, the truffle paste is distinctive and the dipping sauce presents a candy complement. For the much less adventurous that is in all probability a terrific dish to begin with, and one in every of our favorites.
After the gyoza, we have been served zucchini flowers with Xi Xup home XO sauce, goat cheese and shiso (VND108,000). There’s a tempurastyle batter fried to the surface, but contained in the contemporary zucchini is thick and ripe, understated in comparison with the daring spicy seasoning accompanying every creamy chunk of the distinct taste of the goat cheese. After devouring them, the server introduced the subsequent plate—razor clams with crispy pork rinds, vermicelli, dien dien flowers and a soy garlic sauce (VND98,000). The clams, contemporary and splashed with the piquant soy garlic sauce, are domestically sourced from Nha Trang whereas the noodles are handmade in-house.
We continued with our foodie journey with cauliflower in oat batter with salted coconut cream and roasted coconut chips (VND88,000). The cauliflower in oat batter was divine and savory, whereas the candy coconut cream gave it the feeling of being half dessert, a splendidly paired juxtaposition. After that the pleasant server left one other Star Wars-themed particular, the Darth Vader, handcrafted squid ink noodles with clams, Dalat cherry tomatoes and a home XO sauce (VND108,000). A delicious dish with a citrus tang to the noodles, there was a slight spicy kick within the aftertaste, with the completely different textures of the noodles, tomatoes and clams countering one another playfully on the palate.
Regardless of being totally stuffed by the array of dishes we couldn’t flip down the chance to have dessert, a brownie with native espresso beans, pecans, caramel drizzled popcorn, and served with an in-house condensed milk ice cream (VND68,000). The plate was cleaned of this velvety, candy dessert too quick. It was so good, but once I return I need to attempt the opposite dessert on the menu, a selfmade tamarind popsicle served with chili prawn salt (VND38,000).
Xi Xup Noodles & Tapas presents a singular gastronomic enterprise for any foodies in Saigon and is clearly a terrific place to deliver a date as evidenced by the that stuffed the restaurant. Don’t miss this singular eating expertise: Parts are bigger for brunch and tapas model for dinner. They’ve month-to-month specials and regularly experiment with new dishes primarily based on the supply of contemporary components and the inspiration of the chef.
Featured picture: zucchini flowers with Xi Xup home XO sauce
Pictures by Vy Lam and Xi Xup Noodles & Tapas