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Cirrus: Lift to Culinary Paradise

While I usually place my conclusion at the end of a restaurant review, today I will do the opposite as I do not want you to miss out: this new restaurant is likely to become one of Vietnam’s best, and should earn a few Michelin stars along the way. If you like fine food, try to visit before their waiting list starts to fill up!

Cirrus quietly opened its doors two months ago, and they have been limiting their booking to a maximum of thirty guests per night in order to ensure that the experience is amazing. Mission accomplished.

Located on the 51st floor of the Bitexco Financial Tower, and offering seating with a 360 degree view of the city, I thought that the views from this restaurant, which are amazing at night, would be its main selling point. However, the views turned out to be the least impressive element of my visit. The unique personalised service starts the moment you reach reception at the ground floor of the Bitexco Tower, where one of Cirrus’ receptionists accompanies you and your guests to the lift and all the way up to the restaurant.

Elegantly decorated and offering a relaxing atmosphere, Cirrus specialises in modern eclectic food prepared with French techniques.

The main menu is limited to two pages, and some of the dishes change twice a month. Everything looks interesting with some unusual dishes, so after ordering, the adventure starts; the canapés served while you wait were a nice touch!

The Norwegian salmon is home cured for two days with citrus, dill and vodka, giving it a great taste. It was served with roe, crème fraiche (also homemade), black pepper and dill. The taste and flavours are very distinctive and bring freshness and intensity without being overwhelming.

The tuna carpaccio was served as a thin layer of sushi grade tuna, smeared with black olive emulsion and topped with crispy parmesan cheese, water crest and a baby tomato salad. Beautifully presented and another great combination of flavours giving you an amazing experience.

The signature dish is the pan-roasted Pigeon breast with arugula, cauliflower puree and Phu Quoc pepper puree. This is a rather unusual but very delicious dish. The pigeon breast was very tender and tasty, and was served with rocket salad with an amazing homemade vinaigrette.

If you are looking for something simpler, but still delicious, try the truffled egg with creamy polenta and crispy Parma ham. Another incredible dish, where you could easily say that its simplicity would make eggs the king’s dish.

I had the opportunity to try two main courses. The first one, Braised beef cheeks, was absolutely exquisite. Great flavours and the meat was so soft that, after being braised for five hours in the oven, you don’t even need a knife to cut it. Great presentation and astonishing flavour, this was probably my favourite dish of the night.

The crispy roasted pork belly was splendid. Forget the image that you may have of pork belly as a rather fatty dish. The one prepared in Cirrus had a very small amount of fat, just enough to enhance the taste without compromising your own belly! Served with vegetables and crispy pork skin, it was nice and light.

Finally, homemade desserts are also something that Cirrus masters: the coffee cake with three leeches is made with kahlua, espresso and mascarpone cheese - Beautiful flavours and refreshing, just what you need to end a fabulous meal.

However, if you are looking for something even more refreshing, try the Thai Tea Panacotta made with passion fruit, light and delicious with just the right amount of sweetness.

The open, theatre like kitchen is another attraction of the restaurant as you can watch Executive Chef, Gabriel Boyer, and his staff going the extra mile to prepare each and every dish, making the atmosphere even more lively.

Gabriel fell in love with Vietnam on his first visit, and has been here three years. Originally from Chicago, after having graduated from culinary school and with over 13 years in the trade, he has big names backing him like TRU and L2O.

Cirrus also has its own wine cellar, soon to hold over 500 bottles, and if you are a wine lover you will be pleased to know that wine is served in top quality wine glasses, matching each wine served with the glass type. The wine list is reasonably priced and you can find something for everyone.

With staff who have been professionally trained to the highest international standards, and fantastic food, in my opinion, Cirrus offers the best culinary experience in Vietnam.

Cirrus is Open Tuesday to Sunday for dinner only, however they plan to open for lunch in the near future.

Cirrus. Level 51 Bitexco Financial Tower, 2 Hai Trieu, District 1, HCMC. P: 086 291 8751

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