Visited the new Pasarbella at Suntec City a few weeks ago, and this particular stall at one corner caught my eyes. Perhaps it's the yellow hue and the lit signage - An An, with the symbolic Red Star in between. What an eye catching and graphic design for a Vietnamese concept. It was to my surprise when I found out that this is the latest concept from Madam Saigon. Back when Vietnamese cuisine was considered pretty novel more than a decade ago, Madam Saigon has already established its name at Liang Seah Street. They gave me my first taste of Vietnamese cuisine too.
The profile of Liang Seah Street has changed over the years (not in a pretty way, sadly), and they have decided to make Millenia Walk their second home. The owner definitely has a strong business acumen. Knowing that the market is ever changing and getting more challenging, one got to evolve and craft new concepts to stay afloat of the competition. An An was hence born, a Vietnamese concept with a hip factor, to draw the younger crowd with improved recipes.
Mango Salad 3.8/5
Mango Salad ($6.50). One of my favourite appetiser, I have this almost everyday whenever I visit Thailand. I find this Vietnamese style of Mango Salad much more refreshing, without the use of the Thai sauces. However, I would appreciate if the portion could be much bigger.
Prawn Rolls 3/5 and Fried Spring Rolls 2.8/5
Prawn Rolls ( $7.50 for 2) and Fried Spring Rolls ($6.50 for 2). Please don't mistaken the lettuce and carrots as simply part of the plating. I was told that the Vietnamese way to eat the fried spring rolls is to eat it wrapped with the lettuce. That reminds me of how my dad used to wrap his favourite ngoh hiang. The crisp and sharpness of the lettuce cuts away the greasiness. The carrots are pickled in house, hence please try to finish all up if you can. I prefer the prawn rolls though, which is more refreshing. The fried version is kinda skinny and dry.
Special Beef Pho 3.5/5
Moving on to their mains, their Special Beef Pho ($9.90) is hearty, with slices of beef and beef balls. Though the beef balls ain't made in house, they were produced using An An's recipe. The broth is light, comforting and not too sweet. Before you start tucking in, don't forget that squeeze of lime!
Vermicelli with Chicken 4/5
What I want to find more exceptional from An An, is their Vermicelli with Chicken ($9.90). The chicken has a nicely charred skin, flavoured with lemon grass. Loaded with pickled carrots, lettuce and cucumber, this makes a real good summer salad. The fried shallots crisp, an essential condiment of Vietnam, together with their home roasted peanuts add another dimension to this dish. As 'clean' as it may look, it's packed with textures and flavours. I would definitely be back to try the beef version.
A trip to Vietnam and you will find that the food tastes different from what we have gotten here. Afterall our taste buds are raised differently, hence tweaks to the original recipes is necessary. Luckily, their Head Chef is one stubborn guy who will go all out to make sure that the essence must not be lost. Honest food, this is what you will get from An An.
Photograph and written by Si An. A girl who is allured by travelling, loves the feel of freedom, smell of the rain and the aroma of fine coffee and food.
An An Vietnamese Street Kitchen
Pasarbella Suntec City
3 Temasek Boulevard
Nearest MRT: Promenade (CC Line), Esplanade (CC Line)
Daily: 11am - 10pm
1) Alight at Promenade MRT station. Take Exit C. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]
2) Alight at Esplanade MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]