Fresh Catch review – by Cheri The Glutton

“Fresh Catch: High-End Seafood/ Dinner Is Yummy Too!”

If you’re looking forward to trying seafood when visiting Saigon, you might be disappointed because it’s a bit more expensive than you’d expect… Especially if you’re hoping for the gorgeous ones.
But fortunately, we have this restaurant now. Highly recommended!

Close By To Those Restaurants We All Love!

To be honest, it is a little bit far from the central Saigon but there are several cool places around that area like the popular Belgian craft beer restaurant, Belgo and my favourite cafe, The Vintage Emporium.

And, yes! We have another excellent place to take a visit!

It’s owned by the same owner as those popular restaurants we all love which are Bep Me In and Cocotte!

You know those restaurants are loved not only by travellers but also by the locals. Fresh Catch is apparently co-owned by another party but the restaurant’s still got good vibes and full of inspirations too.

Ok, enough intro, right? Let’s dive into “the Mediterranean world”♪

All about Mediterranean Cuisines!

When it comes to seafood, there are so many varieties as you know. This restaurant is all about Mediterranean cuisines. Yes, that word “Mediterranean” we couldn’t pronounce well at middle school!   Mediterrrannean … Oh…It’s sooo hard even to spell it out.

No problem, though! Mediterranean cuisines are not that hard, and it’s rather simple, I would say. The restaurant has the best out of it!
Even though it’s not on a major street, the area is clean and tidy and the alley it’s on is well-paved too. And here it is! I found the gate. The name of the restaurant ”Fresh Catch” on it.
Let’s walk through the gate!

This is it!  “The Mediterranean world”!  

Look at the chalky coloured wall coupled with blue tiles and then the beautiful table settings at the porch!

Once got in the restaurant, what I found on the left was….

Monkfish!It is hard to capture its beauty on the photo but it’s a 3D object and so lovely! What’s more, there’s a bar on the right-hand side with…..

Octopus!

You would be surprised how exciting and fun it is when you actually get there!! Well, I got tooo excited when welcomed by these marine friends LOL
The restaurant is full of positive vibes really!

This is the wall at the stairs. And wow, whales are swimming around up there and brightening our life!  There are so many objects related to sea, but they are well-integrated and harmonious as a whole. I really like it!

And take a look at this fabulous table in a private room on the 2nd floor!

Can you see the crabs under the table? Apparently, those are real!

Out of curiosity, “Who designed this unique place?” I asked.

“A vibrant Vietnamese designer with lots of ideas”  answered a staff.

I’ve known that one of the owners of the restaurant is a French gentleman and he is taking good care of their staff. Not only that, he is giving those opportunities to the young Vietnamese to thrive. How thoughtful he is!  

Menu not fixed yet but..

It’s been just 2 weeks since they opened, so menu are apparently not fixed yet. But they do lunch and also now have special mediterranean brunch on every Sunday. It could be Spanish, Italian or something else according to the day. Wow, I gotta try!  

It’s available at 685k + drinks you order. You know many restaurants often have this kind of things but this place must be a bit different. I’ve got a huge trust in them already!

They’ve earned your trust too, right? Because it’s owned by the same owner as those restaurants, Bep Me In and Cocotte as you know.

When talked with the owner in person, I was so fascinated. French expats I know of in Saigon are all attractive as a person but he is one of the extraordinarily. You know my typical image on a successful business person is strict and somewhat unapproachable. I guess you’d feel the same. But he’s very peaceful and such a gentleman. So it’s a godsend for us to have him in the food scene in Saigon!

Those plates are a bit distinct, right? I’ve never seen these types of pattern before. Apparently, it’s a custom-made. Uhhh, I want one. So cute are the little crabs. And I like they uniquely chose catfish for plates too!

It’s nice that the set of cutlery comes with chopsticks and I’m sure many locals would appreciate it! Needless to say, we Japanese love it too! Small thing counts, you know.

By the way, the lunch set on that day was..

Gratin or soup of the day, and Gnocchi for the main dish. You can add a dessert or coffee to it for extra. It’s a good style as we all are familiar with it.

The Secrets for Lunch for Two!

Generally speaking, when going out for lunch with someone, if it looks modest it would be good to order for one first.

Of course you can order one each. But most of the time I find it’s too much especially for us women!

Here’s the soup I chose. It’s like a fusion of risotto and congee. The rice soaked up the refreshing seafood soup, ohhh sooo good. This is actually about a fifth of the big bowl. Quite generous, right!? I’m satisfied already..

And this is the main dish, gnocchi sauteed with tomato sauce. The portion of this one is normal but it surely tastes excellent. But I was so stuffed at this point. That’s why I’m suggesting you guys to order one for two. I know I know, ordering only a set for two is quite cheap and not enough for two, right?

So what I’d like to suggest instead is…

Yes, the seafood platter!

Let me turn around the plate for you.

This one is available only at 215k during lunch! It means you can get this with a similar price for lunch. Cannot believe it! As you can see, this prawn is huge! It’s like the one I hesitate to buy at the local market because the price jumps up like prawns for the quality. It’s lightly steamed and vinaigrette was poured on it.

Well, how should I describe, the fish tastes like a.. Flounder.. no, it’s got more texture than that. I wonder which fish this is. It’s filleted well and has no bones. So easy to eat. Crispy outside, juicy inside. Yum!   

Oh yes that squid! That’s quite meaty and perfectly grilled too. Once you put it in your mouth,     

it dances in there! Honestly, I didn’t like grilled squids that much when I was in Japan. But Saigon had changed me. I was surprised how fresh the seafood here in Vietnam is! I’ve had good grilled seafoods many times, so I’m a huge fan of these foods now.

This seafood platter seemingly cooked very simply. You know we’ve got a lot of seafood venues in Saigon, right? They usually spiced them up. But this restaurant is very different. It’s rather plain for the better. Actually they don’t need to put unnecessarily stuff on it, because the seafood itself is fresh and tastes wonderful. And they know how to make the most out of it.  Trust me. Being a food blogger for a long time, I know it’s hard to get such a high quality seafood at this price in Saigon. When you miss good seafoods. Just come here and try this platter!

It’s huge for one, so come here with someone you like and order a lunch set and a platter to share! It would make your day.

If you’d like to drink, I would suggest this mussels to try. It’s cooked with bacons and got a strong flavour. This one with white wine, ohhhh life is good!

Great Suppliers Behind!

This restaurant has carefully selected seafood suppliers and they send some photos as some daily recommendations to the restaurant. And their Chef takes ONLY the best.

That’s why we can tell how fresh their dish is with every single plate! We have to understand, though, that because they are dealing with super fresh seafood, sometimes we cannot get what we wanted to have due to the bad weather etc. Remember they are hustling hard behind the scene.

I had lunch this time, so tried a lunch set and small plates. There are a few people enjoying big plates, and I took a glance… wow, how gorgeous that was! I gotta come back soon for dinner!

We Japanese often miss seafood but I don’t know why we rarely encounter the good ones at Japanese restaurants. But we’ve finally got this restaurant for good seafood.  

So we don’t need to lament about lacking good seafoods.
We can indulge ourselves with fresh fish at an affordable price here

Besides the dish, the atmosphere of the restaurant is entertaining too. Although it’s already popular among the locals, I can imagine we Japanese would love it too!

FRESH CATCH:
Address: 4b Phan Ke Binh, District 1
Open time: 11:00-23:00
Average spent: 400,000 VND / person

Original post in Japanese: http://cheritheglutton.com/blog/fresh-catch/