The businessman Luca Guelfi he had called it “the place I love the most”. But Saigon had not resisted the lockdowns, the lack of tourists and businessmen who passed through Milan from all over the world. Today it resurrects like the Phoenix in a new space, also in via Archimede but at number 14, a few steps from the original one, closed in February 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic.
“Milan is slowly returning to start again in style – says the restaurateur – and will finally be able to savor the refined culinary culture of South East Asia with the long-awaited reopening of Saigon, the new corner of Vietnam in the heart of the city”. Located in the heart of what is the “headquarters” of the Luca Guelfi Company group where the other premises are based (Canteen, Oyster Bar and the latest Dal Milanese), the new Saigon is ano intimate space with a capacity of 60 seats and a welcoming outdoor area which can accommodate up to 30 people: an Asian and Vietnamese world full of flavors, colors and refined exotic atmospheres.
The space is furnished with original objects imported from the most disparate places in the world, the interior atmosphere is always inspired by the trend «Indochine Style» with a strong reference to the French colonial period of the twentieth century: Versailles wooden floor, Vienna straw boiserie, honeycomb red velvet chairs and stools, 1930s / 40s lighting by the glass masters of the historic Venini company and wall paintings by important Vietnamese painters of the time. Kenzie and Banani also recreate a tropical setting reminiscent of a Vietnamese jungle, making Saigon again a special and unique place of its kind, a journey of taste to discover those distant places, perfect for a memorable sensory experience.
L’executive chef, Emanuele Gasperini offers a menu full of flavors of typical traditional Vietnamese dishes, fragrant and spicy, revisited with international influences: there will be the traditional Pho Bo soup and prawns wrapped on sugar cane sticks, there will also be the typical fresh goi cuon roll in rice paper, i cha gio fried rolls cooked in different versions, the crab balls con spicy mayo, i stir-fried rice noodles and beef tenderloin in oyster sauce. Traditional Vietnamese cuisine is complemented by modern specialties, including glazed duck salad and miso-marinated black cod on a Bok Choi bed. At the tropical bar, located on the upper floor, it will be possible to taste the creations of the young man bartender Andrea Fantauzzi: cocktail with exotic fruit, a large but refined selection of special spirits and Saigon signature cocktails such as Indochine, for a combination of exotic and contemporary taste based on mezcal, mint, curry, rice milk, cayenne pepper.
Among the thousand lighted candles that give the place an even more exotic and elegant charm, the musical selection that will accompany the evenings of Saigon will be performed exclusively by female DJs, led by Valentina Sartorio, well known for her all-female musical explorations, on the edge between electronic and classical. The management of the restaurant is entrusted to Yelco Rojas Medina, already at the helm of the previous restaurant and a guarantee of rediscovering the same refined and exclusive atmosphere, with an international flavor that tells the essence and tradition of Vietnam, left 2 years ago.
The economic crisis
«The decision to close Saigon at the beginning of the pandemic – says Guelfi – was taken because the clientele who frequented it was mainly international and went to Milan for business or vacation; I therefore realized that that audience would be missing for a long time and I would not be able to economically face that situation. It was a very sad decision, especially for my wife Barbara Pedrini because Saigon was her favorite place. The promise was that sooner or later I would reopen it. Milan is returning to being the cosmopolitan city full of energy that we all know, indeed perhaps better than before, and hence the decision to open the new Saigon: October 18, my gift for his birthday ».
22 October 2021 | 12:11
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