Ole Elle! Can't go wrong with this cafe

(No.3, Vol.3, Apr 2013 Vietnam Heritage Magazine)

Hello again to all. As we all know, finding the right place to dine in District One is a matter of trial and error. Some places are seriously overpriced. Others aren’t worth trying at any price. Still others don’t offer what we like.

However, I have discovered a great place in District One that’s easy to locate, has fine quality and great variety. It’s a real treasure to find.
The ‘Elle Café’ is a French-themed place in the Bitexco Financial Tower-the tallest building in Vietnam. In the lower level, you’ll find one of the most enjoyable dining experiences our city has to offer.
One can dine al fresco or indoors. The outdoor experience is reminiscent of dining in the shore areas on the French Riviera. I have had the fortune to visit the Cote D’Azur many times, and take my word for it, this is just as nice.
The menu is also reminiscent of the fine restaurants on the Riviera. For those who prefer Vietnamese cuisine, there is crab soup, seafood soup, spring rolls, prawn dishes, fried rice and everything else that one could wish. My lady friend ordered the fried squid and Vietnamese lotus rice. She liked both very much.
What makes this place really special is its French-themed cuisine. The French Onion Soup is just as good as that in a nice Paris bistro. The charcuterie, or assorted sliced meats, reminded me of Le Halles in Paris.
My main course was the filet de bouef with wine sauce and mashed potatoes. The meat was juicy and very tender. Done medium rare, it was just the way I like it. The wine sauce really brought synergy to the dish. The potatoes were an unusually good combination of creaminess and substance.
The café offers a wide range of different desserts, such as ice cream, cakes and puddings. My lemon cheesecake was really satisfying and capped off a perfect dining experience. It went well with the chocolate banana smoothie. Check out the coffee menu-the liquor coffee selection may be the best in the city.

Photos: Elle Café

The wine list offered an excellent selection as well, with different types of wine from Chile, Australia, France, Italy and New Zealand.
For those who prefer pasta, there is a wide assortment of different types. Of course, one will usually not patronize a French-themed place to eat Italian food. However, the other diners who made such a choice were very happy they did.
The theme of the Café Elle is the ‘Elle’ fashion empire. This café is as impressive in its own bailiwick as the fashion magazine with which it shares a name. It offers a terrific internationally-themed dining experience in a beautiful location. Mr Seah, the manager, and his colleagues run a tight ship.
For a great dining experience, look up in the sky and follow your eyes to the tallest building. I guarantee you that your first visit will be the first of many.

Elle Café
45 Ngo Duc Ke, Bitexco Financial Tower, HCMC (08-6291-8769), (Open 7:00-23:00)

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