What seems from the outside to be a simple flower shop reveals, once you open its doors, a refined space hidden inside. Every corner is worth paying attention to. The combination of beauty on the walls, on the shelves and on the tables might be seen as screens of sophistication. I was especially impressed by the size and elegance of the lotus blossom painting hanging on the wall above a mirror of the same size.
At the same time Omara Portuondo was playing through the speakers, making the space seem even more sophisticated. The place is small, with a capacity of 25 people, so bookings are something to bear in mind before heading to this flowery palace.
Flowers on the Table
It was lunchtime and the few tables were already occupied and ready for food to be served.
“We serve different food every day,” says Quynh Anh. “Everything is homemade and there is no menu.”
She recalls her years in Paris when she had to go out for lunch every day and make a decision about what would she eat. This is perhaps what leads her to be so contemporary and innovative.
“I want to give my customers the option to try new things every day and make their decisions easier for them.” She also makes things easier for vegetarians; if you are interested, let them know in advance and they will prepare a vegetarian option.
The set lunch (VND90,000) consists of three courses; a savoury dish, vegetables and rice, and a light soup to have in between dishes and (traditionally) works to help clean the food from your bowl. Dessert and a drink — usually tea — are included.
Quynh joined our lunch to tell us about her concept, and while listening to some of her stories, we ate steamed broccoli and cauliflower al dente served with a southern fish sauce on the side — one of the chef’s secret family recipes — which more than lived up to its billing. The slow cooked chicken had a mild flavour that combined perfectly with the rice and the heavenly vegetables. And as mentioned, scoops of the soup were poured into the bowls as the final course.
So if you are tired of making decisions when it comes to lunch, let Padma de Fleur make the decision for you. — Natalia Martinez
Padma de Fleur is at 55/6 Le Thi Hong Gam, Q1, HCMC and serves set lunches from Monday to Friday, 11.30am to 2.30pm