Hai Ba Trung. D1
After last week's limited cheesecake supply, CT members were hoping for a more plentiful spread this week and so we eagerly headed to Sandals, sister chain to the Sailing Club in Mui Ne, in search of what we hoped would be a classy cheesecake.
Sandals is located on Hai Ba Trung, close to other fashionable haunts such as Pacharan, The Refinery and the Park Hyatt hotel. Spreading out across 3 floors, incuding a spacious rooftop terrace, the restaurant offers an ambient atmosphere in which to relax with a cocktail or two. Incidentally, Tuesdays is $2 cocktail night at Sandals, an offer which also extends to some beers and wine- an offer that CT members were quite keen to take advantage of whilst waiting for the cheesecake..
Despite an extensive food menu and some sumptuous sounding desserts, we were disappointed to find that cheesecake was not on the menu, something that came as a surprise as the Sailing Club offer a fantastic cheesecake. Help soon came in the form of a weekly set menu which offered Blueberry cheesecake, which we were able to select individually. This satisfied some members of the CT team, although one member was unhappy that there would be no chocolate in the selection this week.
CT would be getting some cheesecake after all but as the Blueberry cheesecake is not part of the standard Sandals dessert menu, it is not guaranteed that it is always available. At 85,000vnd for a standard wedge of cake, it is one of the most expensive options so far but is it worth it?
Consistency: a firm and well-formed cheesecake that holds its shape well throughout. The actual consistency had the team stumped as to how best to describe it, lacking the thick creaminess of some but avoiding the dry sponginess of others - 'neither cheesy nor cakey: in some ways, a perfect balance. The baked crust on top adds a great homemade touch to the cake.
Base: an adequate layer of biscuit.
Presentation: Simple and elegant. The cheesecake is a plain New York cheescake topped with a generous layer of blueberry compote, garnished with a solitary strawberry and sprig of fresh mint.
Taste: The cheesecake itself is very plain without the usual hint of vanilla or lemon but this works well with the sharp tang of the blueberry. This cake would work with any other fruit topping or a chocolate sauce.
This cheesecake is one that initially seemed plain to tasters but actually improved throughout the tasting, not a crumb was left on any of the plates. The team did feel that the price of the cake set a higher expectation than was delivered.
Verdict: a very honourable effort from Sandals