L’AUBERGINE 49 $$$
L’aubergine 49 is arguably Hoi An’s leading International restaurant. Exploding with the flavors of Paris and London with hints of Asia, the ‘Eurasian food’, as Owner/Chef Thinh terms it, is exceptional. Rating a solid 5 stars across review sites it has leapt into Hoi An top tens wherever reviews are honestly collected.
After working as a chef for ten years in London with stints in Paris and Tokyo and training under some of the world’s most revered culinary experts — celebrity chef, Rick Stein; Paul Gayler of London’s The Lanesborough and Seiji Yamamoto of three-Michelin-starred Tokyo restaurant, Nihonryori Ryugin — 29-year-old, Hoi An born Thinh Nguyen Nhu, returned home to open his own restaurant, L’Aubergine 49.
At L’Aubergine 49 you enter a typical Vietnamese family home. The atmosphere is intimate, the lighting subtle; only the occasional honking of horns and revving motorcycle engines remind that you are not in a quaint little restaurant in Paris.
After tasting the divinely marinated, Indonesian style satay on a bed of coconut sticky rice; the delicately flavored, basil scented vegetable terrine or the caramelised pork ribs that fall off the fork, you know you are in the hands of a master chef.
L’aubergine opened on the outskirts of the Old Town and trade has been brisk; a testament to its quality. Dishes like the seared loin of tuna served on colcannon mash topped with pineapple salsa were so beautifully presented they resembled a work of art.
The prices are above average for Hoi An but genuinely reflect the high standards of Chef Thinh.
To add the final touch, we were treated to perfect service by our waiter, Thang, the owner’s brother. The mere raising of an eyebrow will bring him to your side, and just as discreetly he disappears into the shadows … the excellence of a Parisian maitre d’ without the condescension!
Treat yourself – it’s worth it.
Hours: 6pm – 10pm