Michelin-starred restaurant in HCMC named among Asia's 50 best

By Hoang Phong, Bich Phuong    March 28, 2024 | 12:05 am PT
Michelin-starred restaurant in HCMC named among Asia's 50 best
Hanoi-styled fried catfish served at Anan Saigon Restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Tung
Anan Saigon, which achieved one Michelin star last year, was Vietnam's only representative to be honored at this year's Asia's 50 Best Restaurants Award, an accolade it has now received four times in a row.

The restaurant ranked 48th on the list, down eight places from last year, the organizing committee announced at a ceremony in South Korea on March 26.

Located inside an old market on Ton That Dam Street near Bitexco Financial Tower, Anan specializes in street food-inspired dishes created by its owner and chef, Peter Cuong Franklin.

Franklin is also famed for its $100 banh mi that is topped with French foie gras, truffle, a traditional garnish of sliced cucumbers, cilantro and mint and served with a side of fried sweet potatoes and caviar.

Other dishes that have helped the restaurant gain a reputation among international foodies are Hanoi-style cha ca La Vong (fried catfish); banh xeo taco, a dish consisting of a central Vietnamese region-style banh xeo (Vietnamese pancake) folded into the shape of a Mexican taco and filled with shrimp and pork, Hanoi-style grilled catfish, and beef stew.

Born in the Central Highlands city of Da Lat, Franklin migrated to the U.S. in 1975 and had a career in banking before deciding to follow his passion for food.

"I just created a new style of Vietnamese cuisine that can integrate with the world as I want to turn popular dishes into high-class food to bring an interesting experience to diners," he said.

This year's champion is Sézanne in Japan's Tokyo which specializes in serving French dishes combining Asian culinary styles.

The top 50 also includes eight other restaurants in Japan, 14 in China, nine in Singapore, eight in Thailand, four in South Korea, three in India and one each in the Philippines and Indonesia.

The World's 50 Best Restaurants is an annual award initiated by U.K.-based media company William Reed in 2002, with the participation of more than 300 critics, chefs, restaurant owners, and culinary experts around the world.

Voters must have eaten in the restaurants they nominate within the previous 18 months, and they are not permitted to vote for restaurants they own or have a financial interest in.

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