A culinary exploration of the street food markets of Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, The Ritz Carlton, Dubai, JBR’s new evening brunch at Blue Jade takes guests on an authentic journey through the Far East.
This FACT award-winning Pan Asian spot, conceptualised by Chef Ta Van Huong, is the latest Thursday evening brunch on the block. Saigon Social at the atmospheric Blue Jade showcases authentic Vietnamese cuisine with enthusiasm and we’re here to try them all! The atmospheric brunch is available from 8pm until 11pm and is a place where guests are encouraged to sit back, eat, drink, and take in the hypnotic percussion sounds of the live handpan drums.
The open kitchen is bustling with orders, a mixologist working the room with his mobile bar-cart, carefully curating cocktails for each guest, as whiffs of aromatic street food fill the air. We didn’t quite know what to expect, but the restaurant is lively and the ambience is spot on. We can’t help but find ourselves in awe of Vietnamese interiors and architecture, with quaint wooden windows leading towards the terrace, which overlooks the sweeping JBR beachfront.
Whilst the menu is packed with options, Jeric, our welcoming waiter, kindly runs through each dish inspired by classic delicacies and authentic flavours. We begin with a traditional Vietnamese egg coffee, which pays homage to local coffee shop culture and although hesitant to give it a try, we’re pleasantly surprised by the sweet taste! We follow this up with cold and hot starters, which are presented as a family sharing platter and includes cold rolls (shrimp, chicken, noodles, herbs and cucumber), banana blossom salad (chicken, onion, roasted peanut, chilli fish sauce), rice flour pancakes (filled with shrimp, chicken, beansprouts and herbs) and flavoursome sausage skewers (grilled beef, lemongrass, vermicelli noodles, coriander chilli sauce). The latter was a clear favourite, alongside the homemade fresh rice paper rolls (lobster meat, mushroom, onion and lime fish sauce) and traditional Vietnamese Pho. Of course, you can order more when it comes to the starters, and we cannot resist a second round of the beef sausage skewers.
For our mains, we are able to choose three dishes. We opt for the ginger lotus sea bass, juicy stir-fried beef tenderloin and grilled marinated chicken with lime leaves, accompanied by fried rice and presented in a tropical pineapple. These small portions worked well because we realised we might have devoured too many starters – it was hard not to! Our preferred main was the beef tenderloin, cooked to our liking and bursting with various Asian flavours.
After a short break, we moved onto the desserts and were presented with a large tropical fruit platter filled with our personal Far Eastern favourites, including dragon fruit, papaya and mangosteen. Crispy banana pancakes and sticky rice with coconut milk are also available.
The beverage menu is plentiful, offering a collection of signature drinks. We opt for the Trai Cam (green apple, basil leaves and lime juice) and the Dua Byn Tre with alluring hints of lime and lemongrass.
The team at Blue Jade offer exceptional hospitality and the dining experience is welcoming, informative and highly knowledgeable, leaving us with plenty of insight and information to make us feel as though we’ve actually visited the bustling street food markets of Ho Chi Minh City.
Blue Jade offers diners a one-of-a-kind Vietnamese dining experience, a gastronomic voyage that The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai, JBR has gotten entirely right.
Saigon Social Brunch packages are priced at AED 249 (soft beverages) and AED 398 (house beverages and cocktails).