Sao Nam Restaurant
Sao Nam, an award-winning Vietnamese restaurant comes as complete good package with its minimal decor, delectable menu selection, and cozy ambience.
The menu selection is sufficiently long and offers authentic Vietnamese delights. As a consultant chef, Madam Cam Van designed the menu together with the renowned chief chef Phan Minh Thien from Vietnam. Some of the signature dishes are so well-received by the diners.
The good start doesn’t mean that you’ll be expecting good food all the time. High standard food is not possible without strict quality check. Fortunately, there is someone who is consistently guarding the quality.
Being at the helm of Sao Nam restaurant, Paul has a great passion for food. His persistent to maintain the highest standard of food quality has made this restaurant one of the most popular among the locals, expats and tourists in Kuala Lumpur.
Let’s discover the uniqueness of this restaurant.
The exterior of the restaurant is surrounded by greens and not easily noticeable so keep your eyes open to find this gem.
The restaurant has 2 floors with a capacity of about 80 seats. The interiors show a simple yet sophisticated Vietnamese design and the seating arrangements are comfortable and cozy.
Sao Nam is steadfast in the belief in getting fresh ingredients and Vietnamese-sourced seasoning and dry ingredients in order to present the Vietnamese food in the most authentic way. They use the high quality fish sauce named De Nhat and the soy sause brand is Tam Thai Tu. Both are imported from Vietnam. Besides, food is served fresh prepared from fresh market produce, which is normally used up within a day.
With a carefully crafted menu, there are more signature dishes than we could have tried. Here, we only list a few.
Tip before eating: Look at how the cuisine is presented visually. It is an art display.
The mixed starter platter consists of 4 types of starters. The hue spring roll is something that you must try as the wrap is thin like paper. You should eat it with the fish dipping sauce that brings out the freshness of the ingredients inside.
Banh Xeo or Vietnames Pancake is made when the rice batter is pan-fried. The fillings are stir-fried prawns, chicken breast and bean sprouts. The rice batter that is consists of rice flour, turmeric and coconut milk is not overly sweet. This is a great appertizer to pair with wine too.
On the day when we sample the food, the mangosteen season is over so we do not have the chance to try the more popular Mangosteen Prawn Salad. But we were not disappointed as this Lotus Prawn Salad surprised us with the sweet and sour taste in the crispy texture.
As the name implies, this Coconut Beef is cooked using beef and coconut as main ingredients. The shin part of the beef is stir-fried with five spice powder, pink pepper, onion and simmered in fresh coconut water, creating a very smooth texture and natural sweetness.
Fish in Dill is grilled using boneless salmon marinated in turmeric and sour rice. Dip the fish on the specially-made belacan (shrimp paste) sauce if you want to get abundant taste.
Since the restaurant opened in 2002, it has won numerous awards from magazine, TV and other media. And over the years, the quality is still kept at the highest standard until today.
Many fine-dining restaurants charge a premium for the food and decor. For Sao Nam, a meal for 3 can cost only RM150 depending on the dishes and drinks you choose. If you are after classy and stylish settings, Sao Nam may not be your ideal choice as decoration comes second to them while maintaining good food quality is their top priority.
Paul: It’s pure accident. We used to work around the vicinity of our current place, we love the old building, we asked the landlord. He was willing to rent it to us if we have a food business. So we did some research and found that there is no Vietnamese restaurant around the area. Then we contacted some friends that got us Madam Cam Van as a consultant.
Paul: We stand out because we are the only fine Vietnamese restaurant in the city or perhaps the country, unlike most restaurants where there are many duplication. Also all our chefs are award-winning from their home country (Vietnam) and the ingredients are 100% source from Vietnam.
Paul: We have a very strong customer base and high returns, many awards and write ups from both local and international media. We take those awards seriously and constantly do our best to live up to the standard.
Paul: Yes. We would like to take our brand internationally. Right now we are working with a group in Shanghai.
If you are going by public transport, exit at Bukit Bintang monorail and take a 600-meter walk to reach the restaurant at Tengkat Tong Shin. For taxi transport, you can tell the driver to drop you at Tengkat Tong Shin, which is adjacent to the famous food street, Jalan Alor.