It’s undoubtedly one of Asia’s lightest and most flavoursome cuisines, but Vietnamese fare seems to have fallen slightly out of the limelight in recent months, no doubt in large part due to the hugely popular, globally prevalent Spanish, South American and Japanese dining trends. But shining the spotlight on this regional fare once more is new West Loop restaurant OON – chef Matt Eversman’s (May Street Market, Saigon Sisters) earthy homage to Southeast Asia, with an undeniably mod-American twang.
The space itself reflects the fresh, vibrant nature of its bounty, with lashings of stripped-down dark wood, a raw stone and pale wood-topped bar counter, and colourful contemporary art lining the cool taupe walls. The menu offers a concise collection of well-executed classics, including small plates such as coconut and red curry mussels, grilled octopus with fennel and chorizo, and five spice pork belly spring rolls. Larger plates err more on the side of fusion with inherently Viet dishes like pho reinvented (and cooked tableside!) with duck breast and foie gras, French-influenced pork roulade paired with tempura okra and betel leaf, and curried noodles served alongside herb-crusted flank steak. A solid wine and craft cocktail list is primed for perfect accompaniment – we like the Second City Samurai, a fittingly Asian-fusion blend of sake and kumquat syrup. Sw-OON!