[Vietnam: Saigon] AKUNA Restaurant by Sam Aisbett

Rating: 4.25/5

Last week, I was in Saigon to check out the new AKUNA Restaurant at Le Meridian Saigon by Australian Chef Sam Aisbett! After leaving 1* Whitegrass in Singapore, the chef found his way to Vietnam and opened Akuna with inspiration from the "beautiful chaos" of Ho Chi Minh City. His cuisine is not bound by region or style but a collective of the chef’s life experiences including Australian and Japanese influences. We sat at the chef’s counter where guests can choose from a 5 or 7-course tasting menu. Two wine pairings - Australian and Global - are available to complement the experience. The cuisine was definitely creative, well-executed and one of a kind - my favorites were the Red Braised Goose with crispy sea cucumber and the gorgeous Scallop Banh Cuon with smoked pork jowl! 

The menu. We were told not to look at it before the meal to keep an element of surprise.

Our 5-Course menu started with:

Amuse Bouche

Fresh Milk Curd, Snap Peas, Buffalo Tail Consommé

A pair of translucent chopsticks were provided for the next course.

Sashimi of Kombu-jime Striped Jack, Fremantle Octopus, Artichoke Tea Jelly, Sour Curd, White Pomelo, Seawater

Red Braised Goose, Steamed Venus Clams, Spiced Goose Jelly, Eggplant Cream, Crispy Sea Cucumber

Bread Course with 5 Different Dips

Smoked Australian Free Range Pork Jowl, ‘Scallop Banh Cuon', Jade Tiger Abalone, Handmade Silken Tofu, Pork Rib and Scallop Broth

The chef is thoughtful on every element of his restaurant such as this knife procured from a local artisan.

David Blackmore's Full Blood Australian Wagyu Beef, Fermented Quinoa, Pickled Mustard Leaf, Mushroom, Fried Leaves

Cheese Selection

"Cherry Ripe" Cherry, Chocolate, Coconut, Macadamia

Petit Fours

PS. Be sure to check out the restroom for a surprise trip down to Melbourne!

AKUNA Restaurant
Le Méridien Saigon, Level 9, 3C Đ. Tôn Đức Thắng, Bến Nghé, Quận 1, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh 70000, Vietnam
Tel: +84 28 6263 6688

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