Featured dish: Cold Larvae Salad
Larvae are fascinating. Silky in texture, fatty in taste, rich in proteins and vitamins, but they also have quite an appearance. The look of them and the way they are traditionally cooked – steamed, sautéed or fried whole – make it difficult to incorporate them into a dish, let alone into a refined menu.
But then again, why larvae? We think the most appropriate answer lies in the fact that it is part of our lineage, our story as Vietnamese. Larvae are always present in our culinary, albeit not predominantly, it’s always a thing when you venture a bit outside of these concrete jungle of cities, and arrive in a more nature landscape. Having the capacity and the willingness to subtly infuse these exotic, unpopular ingredients into a more polished environment, to us, is an honor.
We love the taste of larvae. Distinctively fatty, creamy with a nutty mouth feel. The only problem with it is that the experience of eating a larva can certainly be intense. We solved this problem by making them into an airy whipped cream with all the best flavors retained and balanced.
Served with seasonal fruits, fresh shrimps infused in garlic oil and pork gelatin for extra umami and some lime juice on top, this makes for a fun and unique cold salad.