“Taking seafood dining to another level”
After many decades of experience around the globe, Executive Chef of InterContinental Nha Trang, Stephane Leforrestier was kind enough to give Discover Nha Trang an interview to discuss the changes he has made at the Cookbook Cafe Restaurant since his arrival 5 months ago.
Having worked in Vietnam and across China for many years, Stephane is an astute judge of local flavors and his experience allows him to create a menu that matches the reputation of InterContinental and local ingredients and tastes. InterContinental’s Seafood Buffet has long been renowned as one of the best in the country, due in large part to the amazing selection of seafood on offer combined with its incredibly refined and elegant décor, which has seen it listed as ‘Vietnam’s Leading Luxury Hotel’ for 2 consecutive years.
Stephane’s challenge was to improve on the buffet and make it even more appealing – something he attacked with vigor and experience. “For the menu, the first change I made was to source even better oysters as I am very particular about the variety we serve. I searched far and wide before settling on a fantastic local oyster farm that rears the finest I have found”, he exuded. “They are large and juicy, and distinctively ‘French’ in taste”, he added. Aesthetically, I added more color and vibrancy to the presentation of the buffet stations, as after all, we eat not just our sense of taste but will all our senses, and presentation is a key feature in a great dining experience”.
In addition, to create a more “Asian style” the menu, Stephane has expanded the Sushi section, and now diners can pick from a large table full of fresh sushi, sashimi, and other Japanese delicacies. Similarly, there is now a dedicated noodle bar where diners can choose from a variety of noodles, fresh vegetables and then add the broth. Immediately, I noticed an improvement and it has gone down very well with guests”, he stated.
For a seafood dinner, nothing beats the aromas and taste of char-grilled shellfish, so another of Stephane’s initiatives was to set up an exterior barbecue area. Your lobster, shrimp, and crabs will be cooked to perfection by the barbecue chef and brought to the table for your succulent enjoyment.
For the a-la-carte menu, Stephane is gradually adding his own touches and one such inclusion is the lobster burger. “Lobster isn’t hard to find in Nha Trang but we wanted to do something different. So, we take the cooked flesh of the lobster and create a patty with some of my special spices and seasoning, and the result is a mouthwatering and luxurious burger that works very well, he noted.
In the coming months, Stephane has plenty more to do, and he is working on creating some unique signature dishes to wow diners including an assortment of BBQ shellfish and large snails sourced from the Mekong Delta. “I want to continue to add more dishes and items that can’t be found in a regular buffet”, he concluded.
InterContinental Nha Trang’s Seafood Buffet operates from Wednesday to Saturday weekly, from 5.30pm – 9.30pm. Priced at 850,000 ++ per person, it includes all you can eat seafood, international and Asian dishes, desserts and free flow beer. If you are seeking a romantic evening, group gathering or celebrating a special occasion, you will be hard-pressed to find a better locale for gourmet food, relaxed ambiance and refined décor.
- Live band performance
*- Early bird discount of 10% when booked 24 hours in advance
* Khanh Hoa residents will receive a 10% discount when presenting a residence card or driver’s license
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