Culture Through Gastronomy
Traditional Methods ~ Uncommon Fare
The dishes that comprise Vietnamese culinary repertoire are easily recognizable and yet are perplexingly difficult to define. Its culinary tradition employs rich coconut milk reminiscent of Thai cooking, French baguettes and pâté, Indian curries, Chinese five spice, soy sauce and fish sauce, asparagus, and fermented tofu-ingredients thoroughly disparate that combine to render creations distinctly Vietnamese. In order to make sense of this complex cuisine one must delve deep into the country’s history, culture, and geography – elements that have shaped Vietnam’s rich culinary legacy. At the Provincial Table, we strive to more than simply guide guests through a series of recipes. Our staff is continually centered on achieving the tenants of our mission statement and provide guests with an experience that is:
Personal – Practical – Historical
A Complex Heritage
A Cocktail Renaissance
The Vietnamese appetite for drinking has always revolved around the consumption of beer, but recently a nascent cocktail culture in cities like Saigon has been blooming. Along with the myriad of newly initiated mixology bars opening in every major social hub in Vietnam, we have focused on crafting cocktails using locally sourced ingredients and flavors. Whether it be a classic can of Bia 333 or a Jackfruit Mojito you choose to wet parched lips … the first is always on the house.
Viet Small Plates
The Vietnamese have a fondness for small diverse bites that is reflected in the culture’s broad offering of appetizers and “mon nhau” which roughly translates to bar food. The number of small plates in the Vietnamese culinary repertoire is so bountiful that whole cookbooks have been dedicated to the art. Drawing from this extensive list, we have handpicked starters that are both representative of the Vietnamese palate and make versatile pairings.
The First Course
Vietnamese cuisine employs a broad range of cooking techniques and an even wider set of ingredients not commonly found in Asian cooking, and yet, when combined, yield dishes that are distinctly Vietnamese. Our staff has meticulously selected the freshest ingredients available so each of our guests can recreate the country's most well known and beloved dishes.
Tapestry of Flavors
The Main Course
As our course is designed to introduce guests to Vietnamese culinary traditions, we have expertly paired dishes so each visitor can best experience the scope of Vietnamese gastronomy. The depth and variance in flavors, ingredients, and textures is difficult to capture all in one meal. Our hope at the Provincial Table is that we inspire each guest to continue exploring the rich culinary heritage of Vietnam and to incorporate the nation’s flavors, techniques, and spirit into their own cooking at home.
“Mon trang mieng” roughly translated as “palate refresher” is what the Vietnamese will serve as a confectionary course to close out a wonderful meal. Often lighter than its Western counterpart, a Vietnamese dessert will range from cream filled pastry puffs to colorfully molded agar based gelatins yet can be as simple as a plate of tropical fruits. The most prevalent Vietnamese dessert, however, are sweet soups called “che” that resemble parfaits but hold a thinner consistency. Che comes in many varieties often making use of beans, fruits, nuts, and rice simmered in sweet syrup.
Dining Among Friends
Walk down any street or alleyway in Vietnam and you quickly realize that eating and drinking well is a way of life here. Yet as important a role as food plays in Vietnamese culture, it often serves only as a backdrop for family and friends to gather, share stories, and build relationships. To take time and resources to prepare a meal for your family or to host a dinner party for close friends is the Vietnamese way of showing affection and appreciation. This atmosphere of sharing and thanksgiving is something we strive to replicate for each of our guests when we sit and conclude the day by breaking bread together. We hope, while it’s a meal you ultimately cooked yourself, you can feel the selection and preparation of each ingredient was completed with devotion and utmost care from everyone at the Provincial Table.