Archive for October 2009
It’s sweltering but there’s a semblance of a breeze. The frangipani in the faux Chinese pottery occasionally, but somewhat listlessly waves it’s pink flower festooned arms. In the background I can hear the bike horns and other bits of traffic noise. I don’t find it disquieting, if anything I like the noise of cities. I’m in a little alleyway off one of Saigon’s more well known streets but you wouldn’t really know it. I’m peering over the balcony and can see into the house down below where a family relaxes in front of a tv. Bikes are parked in an eccentric pattern outside the houses in this little cul de sac. I’m 3 storeys up but look down on most of the buildings around me. In the background skyscrapers built and in the process of being built shine brightly. Not so brightly that you can’t see the soft glow that bounces off the spires of the cathedral that poke above the rooftops behind me.
I am sitting at what has turned into one of my favourite restaurants in Saigon. Ty Coz located down a little alleyway off Pasteur Rd is, like many of Saigon’s gems, hidden away. The antithesis of restaurants back home which go out of their way to boldly advertise, who clung stubbornly to the business maxim, “location, location, location” that I can often be heard spouting in class. Ty Coz is not a restaurant one accidentally stumbles upon. Not unless you’re the type to walk up obscure alleyways like that pictured below.
Ty Coz is eclectic not only in it’s choice of alleyway location. The entrance looks like someone’s house, which indeed it is for Philippe the owner and his wife live here, and it is up to you the diner to know enough to walk up the stairs, past their living room to the third floor dining room or rooftop dining. None of this detracts from the experience it, indeed, adds to it.
The decor is pleasant, casual bistro chic. What it isn’t is interior designed to death. The focus here is on food and such food it is to satisfy even the most jaded pallette. A whiteboard, like that in a classroom is plonked before the diner who, unless schooled in the world of French cuisine, remains none the clearer about what is served. And then Philippe comes across. His love of food and his self professed love of teaching have you, within moments, encased within a world of food. Every dish is fully explained with a passion that has you wanting to eat every dish described only to entranced by the next delicacy he goes onto describe.
— Posted from my phone