Square One offers four private dining areas and an outdoor terrace. // © 2013 Park Hyatt Saigon
While many guests come to the 244-room Park Hyatt Saigon for its convenient location near Ho Chi Minh City’s business district, the Opera House, the Reunification Palace and the bustling Ben Thanh Market, I was drawn to the property for its focus on all things epicurean. The property has recently refined its culinary team with several new faces, including pastry chef Bertrand Sommereux, who has elevated the property’s desserts and baked goods, and chef de Cuisine for Square One, Soren Lascelles, who has added a number of delectable Vietnamese and Western dishes to the menu. Also joining the team is Italian-born chef Marco Torre, previously of Grand Hyatt Hong Kong’s Grissini restaurant, who is now spearheading Opera, a contemporary Italian eatery overlooking Lam Son Square.
Guests will be hard pressed to find a breakfast spread better than Opera’s. With its open-kitchen design, Opera invites guests to watch chefs spoon pho, poach eggs and broil bacon to crisp perfection in a wood-fired oven. During a leisurely breakfast, I sipped on a fresh coconut that was shucked on the spot, scraped fresh honey straight from a honeycomb and struggled over which pastries (pumpkin loaf, egg tarts, gigantic pretzels, chocolate doughnuts, Parisian-style baguettes) I could fit on my plate. In addition to a generous selection of cheese and charcuterie, cereals, yogurts and exotic fruits, diners are encouraged to order a main course from the breakfast menu. Good luck maintaining any diet here.
A nightcap at the Park Lounge is an ideal way to end a day of exploring Ho Chi Minh City, and clients can expect to hear live music there every night of the week. The bar’s ginger or lemongrass martinis are much-needed palate cleansers after a spicy, garlic-loaded dinner at Square One. So, order one — your traveling companion will thank you for it.