Thursday, March 06, 2008


Today we ate at the beautiful Temple Club Restaurant on Tôn Thất Thiệp Street, which is close enough to Sunshine's office to go for a convenient lunch. The restaurant itself is very fine, offering a pretty familiar menu--the usual Vietnamese culinary suspects--elevated from typical by the sheer quality of preparation. My tomato and fish soup with celery was about the best bowl of soup I've had in town. The price sort-of reflected this, of course. Or perhaps the price just goes along with an expectation fostered by the charming look of the place: a spacious, high-ceilinged loft with brick interiors and exposed wooden beams. We ate on the second floor, where the wooden French Colonial doors are actually shuttered, beveled glass windows allowing waving tree shadows in from the street. Across this street, the colorful and intricate Hindu vimanam of Sri Thendayutthapani Temple can be seen peeking over its high orange wall. I assumed this proximity was the reason for the restaurant’s name, the ceramic elephants-and-tapestry décor does nothing to discourage this mistake, but apparently the Temple Club is located in the three-story remains of an old Chinese temple, which Frommers helpfully pins to "circa" the turn of the twentieth century before letting the matter rest. So we had a nice, if maybe slightly hurried, lunch here today before Sunshine had to return for important meetings with bigwigs all afternoon long. The experience was only slightly marred by the terribly proper waiter, who spilled my lime colored soda all over Sunshine's lima bean colored jacket. He was mortified, of course, and trembled whenever he set anything else on the table throughout the rest of the meal. But his timing was great: we were able to deliver Sunshine a change of clothes before her nail-biting afternoon schedule. [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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