Vietnamese, but make it modern: The brains behind Nha Trang and BÊP has opened an exciting new Vietnamese concept. Located in the space formerly occupied by Pinot Duck, Xuân offers a modern twist on Vietnamese classics by former Chôm Chôm chef John Nguyen.
Look & Feel: Created by designer extraordinaire JJ Acuna, the atmosphere at Xuân is warm, with plenty of walnut wood, handmade brick, and floor-to-ceiling windows that allow light to spill into the restaurant. Inspired by rule-breaking female Vietnamese poet Xuan Quynh, the space also features bright, lively pieces of pop-art-esque artwork on the walls. There’s even some alfresco seating, too.
On the Menu: Expect Vietnamese classics such as pho, spring rolls, and chicken rice, but with a thoroughly contemporary twist. We highly recommend kicking things off with the Cha Gio Crispy Spring Rolls ($128) and Papaya & Watercress Salad ($118), before moving onto a hearty pho. There’s a selection available, including a prime rib ($128) and chicken ($128) but you’ll want to go with the signature beef ($158) which is made with a 24-hour beef broth, Angus prime rib, braised beef tongue and oxtail.
If you still have space, try the Com Ga Hoi An Chicken Rice ($168), a succulent dish of hand-pulled local Three-Yellow chicken, duck egg chicken meatloaf, and turmeric garlic chicken rice served with a spiced ginger Nuóc Mám sauce. The food is ably seconded by a drinks menu of craft cocktails, but if you’re taking a break from the booze, try the delicious lime soda.
Meet the Chef: Vietnamese-American chef John Nguyen headed up the highly acclaimed Hanoi House in New York City before moving to Hong Kong to helm the kitchen at Chôm Chôm. He’d been planning to move to Ho Chi Minh City to brush up his skills and take a deep dive into Vietnamese cuisine, but when the pandemic arrived, he threw himself into creating Xuân instead.
FYI: The three-course set lunch starts at $158 while dinner features nine small dishes of Nguyen’s choosing to start followed by a la carte dishes.
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This writeup is a news piece and was not based on a restaurant visit. The Loop HK will update this post once we’ve visited in person.