Sometimes standard Hoi An restaurants with their tiny red stools just don’t cut it. You’ve got a craving that needs satisfying. You want to feel like you’re somewhere else, enjoying a meal you loved back home, away from all the madness of the Old Town. Prime Steakhouse, the newly opened sister restaurant of Hoi An Steakhouse, offers just that. Tucked into a back street corner of An Hoi, it transports diners to an entirely different world. One of mood lighting, quirky furnishings and an atmosphere that’s somehow gentle and buzzing simultaneously.
At Prime Steakhouse the interior is all cozy booths and dark paneling. The outside area is all exposed brick and marble, fairy lights and flickering (fake) candles. The bovine decor is tongue-in-cheek and super-trendy.
The overall effect? A Brooklyn-style eatery that’s perfect for date night.
We sat in the outer area, surrounded by glass paneling which looked out onto the darkened streets beyond. The only reminder that we were in Vietnam at all was the stand selling tropical fruit across the road. And, much as I love Hoi An, I must admit that it was nice to have this little ‘escape’ for a couple of hours. To enjoy a totally different style of place – and of course, to chow down on some incredible steak, too.
Our very attentive and smiley servers, Vy and Tram, told us that the chef had previously worked in 5-star hotels. And this experience was evident in the stylish presentation of our starters: beautifully smoky scallops and juicy carpaccio. The crushed garlic and white broccoli served with the scallops were totally worth any stinky breath, while the combination of parmesan, cherry tomato, basil and olives on the carpaccio had us wondering why we’d ever eat anything else.
This flair for presentation was slightly lacking in our main courses. But that didn’t matter. Because we were there for one reason only – to eat some damn good red meat. And we weren’t disappointed.
Andy chose the man-sized ribeye, I opted for a more demure fillet mignon. Both were perfectly cooked to our requirements, beautifully seasoned and sweetly tender. (A handy reminder that appearance only goes so far – it’s what’s inside that really counts!) The buttery truffle mash and grilled asparagus were decadently delicious accompaniments. Enjoyed with the best red wine I’ve had here – and it was only the house Shiraz – it was the kind of meal that I’m still salivating over the following morning as I write this.
The service may have been a little slow and at times scattered … but Tram and Vy did have a lot to manage between them. And they were so friendly we didn’t mind one bit. You can tell they know their stuff, having trained in high-class hotels. And while there’s a few kinks to be ironed out, this place has only been open for 2 months … so leeway should be given. They’re definitely moving in the right direction.
I can honestly say that my trip to Prime Steakhouse is up there with the best date nights I’ve had in Hoi An. We were made to feel so welcome without the service being over the top. The food was simply delicious and satisfied any cravings I had for good-quality steak (and scallops!) The setting had all these quirky, hipster elements – but thankfully, not in a pretentious way.
And I loved that upon exiting through the hidden door to the bathroom, I ended up in a random sitting room first – with an entire family gathered together to watch the football. Still in Vietnam, then… 😉
Hoi An’s new hot spot for a weekend dinner date? It should be.