Feasting on French food

Dinner in Saigon at La CamargueOur first night in Saigon we couldn't resist a break from non-stop Asian food and we headed to Camargue for a vaguely French/European meal. Seated outdoors beneath palm trees on the upper terrace of a villa/house, the evening had a tropical, languid feel. There was an old fan spinning in the corner, dark wood for chairs and tables, and a calm easiness to the proceedings. I had foie gras and gnocchi (an odd combination of starter and main, and one I probably wouldn't repeat, though both dishes were tasty) and Jason had warm goat cheese salad and steak. Delicious.

Last night, we again went French for dinner and headed to Augustin, a little spot recommended by R.W. Apple in his New York Times article, At Ease in Vietnam, Asia's New Culinary Star. He describes it as, "a bistro you might think had been transported intact from 1930's Paris," and it didn't disappoint. My goat cheese salad was delicious, the chevre older than I'd expected and its tangy was enlivened by a honey dressing on the lettuce. That honey richness segued nicely into my ginger duck breast entree, cooked to perfection and not only sauced with ginger but topped with julienned slices of the fresh root. It was a delightful balance of French and Asian flavors. While we were there, a Frenchman came in and sat next to us. He ate a big bowl of spaghetti Bolognese (!), drank a glass of Beaujolais nouveau, and read Le Figaro. It was almost like we were in Paris.