First four Vietnam restaurants receive Michelin stars

By Phuong Anh, Tu Nguyen   June 6, 2023 | 06:36 am PT
First four Vietnam restaurants receive Michelin stars
Representatives of Anan Saigon, Hibana by Koki, Gia and Tam Vi restaurants, receive their first Michelin stars at a ceremony in Hanoi on June 6, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Phuong Anh
Four restaurants in Hanoi and HCMC have received Vietnam’s first-ever Michelin stars, the renowned French food guide has announced.

Hanoi’s Hibana by Koki, Gia and Tam Vi received one star each at a ceremony on Tuesday night.

The Anan Saigon restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City was also granted a star at the ceremony.

Anan Saigon in District 1 was the only restaurant in Vietnam to be among the best 50 in Asia earlier this year.

Gia is the workplace of chef Sam Tran, who was also recognized by the Michelin Guide on Tuesday night. Hibana by Koki, which serves Japanese food, is located inside a 5-star hotel in Hanoi. Tam Vi is a Vietnamese restaurant, with bills at around VND200,000 (US$8.51) per person.

"We once went through six months without a single customer, but now everyone has accepted our food," Peter Cuong Franklin, chef and founder of Anan Saigon, said of the time he opened the restaurant six years ago.

Besides the four restaurants that received the Michelin Guide’s high honor, a total of 99 restaurants in Hanoi and HCMC made other lists published by the guide: Michelin Selected, Michelin Guide Special Awards and the Bib Gourmand.

Seventy local restaurants were named in the Michelin Selected group, with 32 in Hanoi and 38 in HCMC. Some prominent names include Cha Ca Anh Vu, Bun Cha Huong Lien, A Ban Mountain Dew and Pho Ga Cham.

The Bib Gourmand group included 29 restaurants in Vietnam, with 13 in Hanoi and 16 in HCMC. Prominent names included 1946 Cua Bac, Bun Cha Ta, Cha Ca Thang Long and Chao Ban.

Three Michelin Guide Special Awards were also handed out in Vietnam, with the Sommelier Award given to Yu Yamamoto, the Service Award given to chef Nguyen Thi Nu of Vietnam House, and the Young Chef Award given to chef Sam Tran of Gia.

In the Michelin system, one star signifies a "very good restaurant," two stars is considered "excellent cooking that is worth a detour," and three stars means "exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey."

According to the Michelin Guide website, there are currently over 3,000 Michelin-starred restaurants in nearly 40 different countries.

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