“It is an acquired taste for meat lovers,” the manager warned. I dipped the goi cuon (summer rolls) into hoisin sauce. Surprisingly, it tasted good even without the shrimp. Richly flavored dippings waltz with other ingredients in Viet and Thai food culture. Lemongrass picks the best of these two culinary worlds and make them available in Cebu.
“The element of spiciness is always present,” I commented after nibbling the rolls dipped into a peanut-tinged sauce. It is an even strip of radish, carrots, cucumber, and lettuce wrapped in rice paper. The original menu included a shrimp in it, but since I specifically looked for vegetarian-friendly dishes, they removed it.
Fortunately, Lemongrass can customize the existing menus to suit the diner’s preference. They can leave out the shrimp and egg in yum makhue yao (grilled eggplant salad).
Rau xao chay–a plethora of stir-fried vegetables and dabong (bamboo shoots) –and som tam (green papaya salad) must appeal to those who watch their diet. The subtlety of the spice makes it urgent to belt down the lemonade with citrus and herb. I call it the happy pitcher with its slices of orange, cucumber, lemon and other invisible ingredients such as mint or basil.
The taoho sawaei’s (royal fried bean curd) softness in the mouth contradicts its deceptively hard-looking form. The sauce-thickened tofu burst in the mouth, and Jonathan Gold’s words “as soft as a sigh” resonated the experience.
Address: The Terraces, Ayala Center Cebu
Number: (+63 32) 233-8601