Mekong Restaurant (Upper Deck): Three meals a day at Mekong Restaurant are included in the fare. The food is good, and there is plenty of it. An effort has been made to provide local flavours and recipes (fresh spring rolls or caramelised catfish, for example) while still satisfying Aussie palates with the Vegemite on the breakfast buffet. Special requests (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free) are catered for; advance notice is preferred.
Breakfast 7 to 9 am: A buffet includes several types of breads and spreads, pastries, sausage, bacon, hash browns, pancake, stir-fried noodle and oatmeal. Cold meats and salad are also on the buffet, as well as juice and cereal. An egg station is manned by a chef who prepares fresh omelettes, scrambled or fried eggs. He does double duty, also manning the nearby soup station, churning out pork noodle broth and other breakfast soups. The complimentary coffee is instant, from a jar, which seems a crime when Vietnamese drip coffee is so good. Passengers may purchase espressos, lattes and cappuccinos.
Early risers can grab a tea or coffee from the Saigon Lounge from 6am.
Lunch 12.30 to 2pm: A buffet offers several salad and cold meat choices, as well as bread, plus an action station where chefs prepare different daily dishes (roast chicken, for example, or fried noodles). In addition, passengers may choose an a la carte appetiser, soup, main and dessert from a menu listing various choices. One option is always vegetarian. Dishes cover Western/Asian tastes (cream of pumpkin soup, roast chicken stuffed with lemongrass, pad Thai, grilled tilapia with dill sauce and coffee creme brulee).
Dinner 7 am to 8.30pm: At dinnertime, there is no buffet, just a la carte options for appetiser, soup, main and dessert. Again, passengers may choose Western or Asian dishes, or mix and match. For example, Vietnamese rice paper rolls for appetiser, tamarind broth with shrimps, pork ribs slow-braised in coconut juice, tuna with vegetables. Vegetarian options feature mostly stir-fried vegetables and curries with rice.
Seating is open, at tables of four or six. Service is friendly and well-meaning. Decor features Vietnamese art and a subtle colour scheme.
House wine, a Vietnamese red or white, is served free of charge at lunch and dinner. Additional wine options are available to purchase.
Room Service: There is no room service menu. Passengers may ask for food from Mekong Restaurant or tea/coffee to be delivered to their rooms.
All-day snacks: Cookies and peanut brittle snacks are available all day, free of charge, from the Saigon Lounge tea and coffee station.