TBLS is my favorite private kitchen, more than just a feast to the eyes, Chef Que’s creation keeps the whole table going wow.. nom… yum… throughout the 6- course dinner! The anticipation starts long before the actual dinner, (what’s gonna be in the burger? What’s gonna be the flavor of the ice cream in the macaroon?) Even though the menu changes every month according to the theme of the month, there’s typically a burger and a soup, a palette cleanser, an ice- cream macaroon. When I heard that Vietnamese cuisine was going to be the theme for the month of May, I couldn’t wait to try it! Maybe we get to try some secret recipes that have been passed down in Chef Que’s family? **viv rubs hands together in anticipation**
Finally this glorious day has come! I had to stop myself from drooling just from looking at the menu!!
Amuse bouche was a jelly that tasted like broth and a tiny chunk of meat that was so packed with flavor I named it the dynamite. Mmmm… this is gonna be good **all smiles**
Beef Phở Two Ways-
Phở Broth with Tapioca
Braised Oxtail Banh Mi with Pickled Daikon and Carrots
The braised oxtail banh mi was hearty and saturated (in the best way possible) with flavor while the sourness and lightness of pickled daikon and carrots balances any heaviness in the oxtail. The pho broth was rich and light all at one, it was rich in flavor, savory and almost slightly sweet and yet it doesn’t feel heavy. The surprise was in the tapioca in the bottom of the bowl, I knew it’s not pho but it felt like I was biting on pho while drinking the broth.
Lobster Bánh Bèo
Steamed Rice Cake with Lobster, Crab and Cilantro
The Banh Beo was a small thin steamed rice cake with a chewy, slightly sticky texture. The lobster and crab meat were firm with a good bite, the sauce was heavenly, sour-ish and sweet fish sauces with a little hot red chilli, crushed peanuts and fried shallot flakes enhances flavors. The dish was sweet, sour, spicy all at once!
Lemongrass Hamachi Tartar
Green Mango, Cherry Tomato and Mint Salad, Squid Ink Nước Mắm
A symphony of great flavors and textures with the sour- sweetness of green mango, the freshness and crunchiness of the cherry tomato, the mini pops of flavors of the sea from the sea grapes, the refreshing mint with the lemongrass Hamachi tartar, and the squid ink Nước Mắm which finishes off the dish with a spicy note =)
Grilled Iberico Pork
Rice Gnocchi Sauteed with Crispy Minced Pork, Wood Ear Mushrooms and Long Beans
Rice Gnocchi looked like mini banh hoi (steamed rice vermicelli cake) and has the texture of that resembles a cross between banh hoi and grilled mochi (it’s light like banh hoi yet chewy gooey like grilled mochi). The grilled iberio pork tasted like lemongrass pork chop except that it’s so much more succulent, the melt in your mouth richness and the deep flavor of iberico pork.. mmmm… **wipe drool**
The palette cleanser was a lime, sugarcane and mint sorbet, it was literally a mojito melting in my mouth. It’s so refreshing and prepped me for the sweet treats that were coming my way!
Roasted Pineapple Sticky Rice Balls, Soursop and Yogurt Sorbet
The sticky rice balls looked like a ball of tadpole dyed green, the layer wrapping all the tadpole was very thin, it’s kinda like popping roe, except that it’s not salty. The soursop and yogurt sorbet had just the right balance of sour and sweetness, when eaten with the roasted pineapple, brought about this sour, sweet tanginess in the tongue
Vietnamese Coffee Macaroon Sandwich
Coffee and Cardamon Ice Cream, Condense Milk Jelly
The signature dish that I’d been looking forward to – the macaroon! I knew it! when I saw Chef Que I was like I knew it I knew it!! Z and I were talking about this Vietnamese menu before the menu came out and I was hoping that the macaroon would be inspired by Vietnamese drip coffee! ** Dreams come true moment**
The condense milk jelly gave the macaroon the appearance of a cheese burger ;p I love the intense aroma of cardamom, the strong coffee flavor, the light yet chewy macaroons. While I like the texture of condensed milk jelly, I thouoght the flavor of condense milk was overpowered by the Vietnamese coffee ice-cream
I shamelessly asked for a third dessert course, coz there’s always space for more dessert right? Right? *silence all around*
So there it was… tada! Meringue atop mango sago, lemongrass creme anglaise chili and lime with tapioca- where do I even start? It looks like Mango pomelo sago/楊枝甘露 but the flavors were more complex, first off the subtle heat from the tiny slices of red chili that made the dish interesting; the meringue was fluffy, light with a soft chewy center =) the citrusy fragrance of the lemon grass, the sweetness from the mango, and the creaminess of the crème anglaise =)
“Satisfied” was an understatement, I can’t wait for the new menu next month!!! Thanks Chef Que!!
Add: 7th Floor, 31 Hollywood Road