The Intercontinental has paid particular attention of its catering and the affinity between the architect and the Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux has certainly contributed to the excellence of one of the best restaurants in Asia, La Veranda, and also other restaurants at the complex.
The Citron restaurant can accommodate 120 surrounded by the sunny decor that puts guests in a good mood from the moment they wake up. It is the nerve centre of the resort with its musical ambiance and its huge buffet, which is particularly spectacular at Sunday brunch.
The most sought-after seats are the outdoor booths in the shape of inverted 'non la' (Vietnam's traditional conical hats) which appear to float 100m above the sea.
The Chef at the Citron, Nguyen Duc Duong, was awarded the 'Golden Spoon' in 2014 and the title of best Vietnamese Chef. His menu is embellished with a touch of Mediterranean cuisine and explores all of the specialities of the North, South, Centre and the Mekong. Among the emblematic dishes are the wok-seared frogs legs, the wok-seared eel and the Vietnamese Wok-seared Beef with tomato and basil. An explosion of flavours scented with local spices and herbs: coriander, cinnamon, green pepper, lemongrass and ginger.
Extending off from the Citron is the highly select and panoramic Sun Peninsula Club Lounge, reserved for VIP guests.
Another choice of restaurant for a quick meal on the beach in between sunbathing, the Barefoot Café is convivial with no frills. In the evening, and particularly on Fridays, guests can enjoy the generous and delicious seafood buffet (fish, shellfish and tasty local oysters).
There is another restaurant that can be reserved for an intimate meal, or there is the Long Bar for cocktails in the deep wicker armchairs, but the restaurant that has everyone talking is without doubt La Maison 1888, run by three Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux.
Initially an affinity between two talented men: American architect Bill Bensley and French Chef Michel Roux, and a shared dream to recreate a plantation owner's house like the ones that use to exist in Indochina with a veranda, a family dining room, a smoking room and the children's bedrooms on the first floor: La Maison 1888.
The imaginary La Maison 1888 has been transformed to become a 60-cover gourmet restaurant. The veranda has become a terrace with a sea view surrounded by gardens, the smoking room with its hunting trophies, its Cuban cigars and its vintage Champagne has been baptised the 'Buffalo Bar', the dining room is now the Chef's laboratory and a workshop for cooking classes, the large reception area has been transformed into a chic restaurant, 'La Veranda', which can seat 30 diners and has 4 alcoves for romantic dinners. The children's bedrooms have been transformed into private lounges which can accommodate a dozen guests.
The adventurous son's lounge with a model airplane on the ceiling and travel souvenirs in display cases has become the 'Traveller's Room'. The 'Accountant's Room' which belonged to the prodigal son has an impressive collection of counting machines. On the ceiling there is a giant copy of a recipe written by Michel Roux's when he was a child. The youngest eccentric sister's room has become 'Le Boudoir de Madame' with a Chinese bed, a dressing table, boas and trimmings.
In this reconstructed decor, Michel Roux and his team, Stéphane Colliet, Chef de Cuisine, Simone Galazzo, Restaurant Manager and Stéphanie Aubriot Pastry Chef, concoct genuine French cuisine served on cloche-covered plates according to the formal tradition.
The menu is an anthology and simply reading it will have your mouth watering: lobster salad with citrus fruits and mandarin chutney, pork belly confit with juniper fragrances, cabbage stew and revisited Lyonnaise potatoes, tender fillets of grilled rabbit on a tender bed of celeriac with an Armagnac sauce and glazed chestnuts, not to mention the deserts: traditional Tarte Tatin with cinnamon ice cream, a hot soufflé with Grand Marnier liqueur and poached cranberries...
While the vegetables almost all come the market in Danang and the spices from the herb garden, the lobsters come from slightly further afield. As it is difficult to find equally sized lobsters in the fishermen's nets, the crustaceans are imported live from Canada and now live in a giant aquarium in the kitchens.