The Dramatic, Glorious Past of Indochina At SaigonSan

Photography By SaigonSan Tugu Doc.

A new thematic restaurant has just opened in the heart of Malang city. SaigonSan is an embodiment of the Indochina spirit, including from Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Burma (the former name of Myanmar). Attached to the iconic Hotel Tugu Malang, the establishment offers a splendid décor and modern Indochina cuisine that tells a rich history from many centuries.

SaigonSan is yet another brainchild of Tugu Hotels founder, Anhar Setjadibrata. It is a dramatic product, which is inspired by the glorious past of the countries of Indochina, and is part of the forgotten history of Indonesia due to the connection to Jayavarman II.

The establishment consists of two main dining halls and a few smaller dining rooms. A rooftop dining area will be coming soon. The Royal Angkor Hall has been constructed to educate and remind all visitors of the Khmer Angkorian Empire, created by Jayavarman II, a young man from Java in the year 802. A red statue with six arms in the middle of the room portrays Jayavarman II. The room is also embellished with three oversized sculptures of the faces of Brahma, such as the one found at the Bayon Temple in Angkor Thom, Siem Reap. It is also present at Preah Khan, a temple in Angkor from the 13th century.

Inspired by the gods of that era, SaigonSan presents ‘Arts of the Gods’, consisting of various highly artistic, rare pieces of Indochina. They symbolise the glorious and dramatic past of that time surrounding Angkor. The restaurant also features a collection of bric-a-brac, which was gathered from the night markets in Hoi An, Chiang Mai, Siem Reap and other towns of Indochina.

A small museum is attached to the Royal Angkor Hall. It is dedicated to Henri Parmentier, a French architect, art historian and archaeologist who had saved many artworks from Champa, now known as Central Vietnam.

The other main room is decorated more with Thai and Vietnamese elements, from the photo of Vietnamese founding father Ho Chi Minh to the floral motifs of a monastery in northern Thailand. Vietnamese propaganda posters, old movie posters and statues of the gods embellish the room that is nuanced in warm colours.

For the menu, SaigonSan serves modern Indochinese cuisine. It is a unique combination amongst the Indochinese dishes, which are influenced by French, Indian and Chinese cooking amongst others. The menu is all about the irreplaceable exotic herbs that give the cuisine a particular distinctive flavour.

Since Hotel Tugu Malang opened its doors almost three decades ago, it has become a landmark of East Java, catering to a long line of world leaders, Hollywood personalities, artists, fashion designers and more. Now SaigonSan, with every element that it has, will add the appeal to the guests and anyone who loves history, culture, delicious food and unforgettable experience.

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Vira Tanka
Having her bachelor degree from Visual Communication Design of Bandung Institute of Technology, she explored her other interest in writing by being a writer for TV programs and travel magazines. Always keeping her love for the art, she actively sketches just about everything, from urban landscape to nature, in between writing projects.

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