All the best from Vietnam

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 April, 2008, 12:00am

Le Soleil

3/F The Royal Garden, 69 Mody Road, Tsim Sha Tsui East, 27332033

With its open view of the hotel's remarkable atrium, Le Soleil has become the identity of this wonderful location. The fine Vietnamese cuisine here is designed by award-winning chef Dennis Wong, who runs another restaurant of the same name in San Francisco. The food of Vietnam is mostly comfort food - a hot bowl of pho (rice noodles) or a healthy salad with shredded chicken, cabbage and bean sprouts, with fresh herb leaves and a dose of fish sauce. It is not complicated food but it is hard to perfect because there are no heavy sauces to overwhelm your taste buds or over-the-top presentations to distract you. Mr Wong offers the best of his native country's cooking with just the right touch of style. Dishes are nicely presented but not overly decorated (the lobster we had was arranged to look like it was posing for pictures), and ingredients and seasoning are masterful. Rice paper rolls (pictured) with a julienne of shaggy mane mushroom and vegetables were a pleasant surprise. A quick dip in the soy sauce makes it an experience packed with garden sweetness and freshness. If only all vegetarian dishes tasted like this more people would shun meat. The pho seems to be closer to what's generally known as 'Phnom Penh noodles', rather than the flatter and wider variety served in most Vietnamese restaurants, but it works fine.