A Taste of Saigon Street Food in SingaporeWritten by Mickey L
Acclaimed Vietnamese chef Peter Cuong Franklin is bringing his fine dining take on local cuisine to Singapore.
Sitting in the middle of the famous Chợ Cũ Old Market, one of Ho Chi Minh City’s oldest wet markets, is the culinary gem that is Ănăn Saigon. Headed up by critically acclaimed chef Peter Cuong Franklin, it’s a restaurant serving local street food made from fresh ingredients with a Western spin – think a traditional bánh mì served with truffles. Already the subject of attention from international publications such as the SCMP as well as endless satisfied guests, Ănăn has quickly made a name for itself as the place to go for authentic Vietnamese food with a fine dining twist. Now, it is coming to Singapore, in a one-night pop up event at SPRMRKT Kitchen & Bar.
Award winning chef Chef Peter Cuong Franklin is a pioneer in the food industry who knows that there is much more to Vietnamese cuisine than pho. From humble living room beginnings watching his mother run their home-based restaurant, he went on to bring his take on the cooking of his childhood to a global audience, launching some of the hippest restaurants in Hong Kong in recent years including the much loved Chôm Chôm. In 2017, he brought his mission home with, Ănăn, his first restaurant in Vietnam.
Despite his many successes, Peter was keen to move back to Vietnam for practical as well as personal reasons. Set up costs in Vietnam are low compared to Hong Kong, setting him free to experiment with different recipes with lower risks. Choosing to base his latest culinary venture in Chợ cũ on Tôn Thất Đạm, right in the heart of one of the oldest markets in Saigon, also means that Peter and his team have no shortage of incredible ingredients to work with. Despite the hectic crowd at Cho Cu Old Market and its dilapidated exterior, the vendors are known to provide some of best and highest quality produce in the city.
Unlike most restaurateurs in central Ho Chi Minh who choose to focus on French food to cater to the international crowd, Peter opened Ănăn to show just how good traditional cuisine can be. His menu includes specialties from a charcoal grill, such as his beef wrapped in betel leaf consisting of individually wrapped beef chunks served with lemongrass. Another favourite are his Banh Xeo Tacos, which infuse both Vietnamese and Mexican influences together creating a perfect combination of crunch and spice. The star of the show is probably his high stakes take on Vietnam’s staple sandwich — a US$100 banh mi made with truffle, pâté, foie gras and more.
Singaporeans now have an opportunity to enjoy one of Peter’s feasts closer to home at his upcoming pop up at SPRMRKT Daily. For one night only, this riverside spot will be transformed into a mecca of Saigon street food that amounts to a lot more than your average spring roll. With music, art and a great vibe also promised, it’s a night out not to miss.
Venue: SPRMRKT Daily, Level 1, 41 Robertson Quay, Singapore
Date: Friday, 16 March
Time: Dinner, 6 pm to 10 pm
Price: SG$8 to SG$12 per dish in tasting portions
Photo credit: Image 1 by Justin Melgarejo