Last night was the end of an era for Chieu Lu and Cuong La – owners of Kim Thanh Restaurant in West End. And it is the beginning of a new era for their son, Bao La, up and coming chef.
I was privileged to be invited to a dinner to celebrate the 24 years Kim Thanh has been open. In an age where staying in the restaurant game for 24 months is a notable feat, 24 years is truly a triumph. Sadly at the end of the meal it was announced Kim Thanh will be closing next year. If you’ve not been, then go, and go quickly!
Dinner last night was cooked primarily by Bao La. At only 24 years old, and in the early stages of his chef’s apprenticeship, it was a big challenge to take on, and one that he excelled at.
The 5 course tasting plate was a sensory delight. As I review the menu and my photos, I’m still trying to decide what I enjoyed the most. The photos below really don’t do justice to the colours and until there is smell-o-vision or taste-a-picture, you’ll have to take my word on the flavours and aromas.
|Nem nuong cuon cham tuong Hue (grilled pork rice paper rolls with Hue dipping sauce)|
|Goi ngo sen tom thit (Pickled lotus stem salad with prawn and pork belly)|
|Mi vit tiem (Master stock cooked duck with egg noodles in Chinese herb broth)|
I haven’t cooked a master stock before, and also haven’t experimented much with duck. After tasting this dish, I’ll be doing both. I’m pretty sure it was my favourite. But then I nearly ate all the ice cream (below) before realising I hadn’t taken a photo!
|Bo luc lac (Wok tossed Black Angus with Dalat salad and tomato rice)|
I don’t know what the flavours were in the salad, but it had a beautifully subtle sweetness that complemented the flavours of the beef.
|Dua nuong trai vai ca rem (Roasted coconut and lychee ice cream)|
The only part of the meal Bao didn’t make was the ice cream. The roasted coconut added a completely different flavour to regular coconut, and the addition of what I THINK were crushed fortune cookies at the bottom of the glass, gave a delicious little crunch that lifted the dish.
Thank you to Bao and your family for inviting me to celebrate with you. I look forward to returning again soon. And I will listen out for your future food adventures with interest.