Michelin Guide bestows stellar accolades on Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

June 07, 2023 | 09:39
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Vietnam is celebrating the recognition of four exceptional restaurants with coveted Michelin stars. This momentous occasion marks the accolades bestowed on a total of 103 remarkable dining establishments, spanning across four esteemed award categories.
Michelin Guide bestows stellar accolades on Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City
Four restaurants in Vietnam have been awarded Michelin stars. Photo: Tuoitre

The Michelin Guide took centre stage on the evening of June 6 to bestow its coveted Michelin stars upon a select group of restaurants in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. This grand affair not only marked a momentous milestone for the nation's gastronomic prowess, but also ignited a blazing trail in the realm of Vietnamese travel and tourism.

The announcement of the Michelin Guide's inaugural stars in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City has set the food world ablaze with excitement and anticipation. It marks a dazzling new chapter in Vietnam's gastronomic journey, igniting a fiery passion for exquisite cuisine and opening up a vibrant culinary era.

Along with the four restaurants that gained Michelin stars, 70 establishments earned the distinguished title of Michelin Selected, 29 were honoured with the esteemed Bib Gourmand distinction, and three individuals received the illustrious Michelin Guide Special Award.

At the forefront of this culinary revolution stands Ănăn Saigon, basking in the glory of its coveted Michelin star. Nestled in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, this remarkable eatery has already captured hearts at the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants awards in Singapore. The restaurant's visionary owner shared his arduous tale, recounting the initial scepticism he faced from customers when his innovative menu first hit the scene.

Joining the ranks of Hanoi's Michelin-starred heavens is GIA, proudly donning its second Michelin star. Accompanying GIA in this culinary milestone are two other illustrious establishments, Hibana by Koki and Tam Vi, each receiving their own Michelin star. In total, a staggering 103 restaurants and eateries in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have been showered with the prestigious Michelin Guide's recognition.

Within the Michelin Selected category, a dazzling tapestry of 70 restaurants unfurls, with 32 enchanting destinations residing in Hanoi and 38 in the bustling streets of Ho Chi Minh City.

Among them, an astonishing 15 establishments master the art of Vietnam's iconic pho, including legendary names like Pho 10 Ly Quoc Su, Pho Tien, and Quan An Ngon. This captivating list also showcases revered culinary gems like Bun cha Obama (Bun cha Huong Lien), Cha ca Anh Vu, Oc Dao, and Oc Vi.

Michelin Guide bestows stellar accolades on Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City

Moreover, the discerning palates of diners are spoiled by sophisticated establishments such as T.U.N.G dining, Lua, and GIA, where excellence reigns supreme.

In an extraordinary revelation, the Michelin Guide showered four exceptional eateries with the coveted Bib Gourmand distinction, an accolade reserved for outstanding culinary experiences at affordable prices. A total of 29 restaurants were honoured with this prestigious award, each a testament to their dedication and creativity.

The grand ensemble of the Michelin Guide Special Awards encompasses an array of illustrious honours, including:

  • The Sommelier Award: A coveted tribute reserved for the wine virtuoso, Yu Yamamoto, hailing from the enchanting realm of Lửa (Fire).

  • The Service Award: An accolade bestowed upon the paragon of service excellence, Chef Nguyen Thi Nu, whose artistry reigns supreme at the renowned Vietnam House restaurant.

  • The Young Chef Award: A tribute to the prodigious talent of Chef Sam Tran, the culinary visionary behind the splendid epicurean experience at the esteemed Gia.

Overflowing with pride, Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guide exclaimed, "We are bursting with pride as we unveil Vietnam's first Michelin Guide-starred restaurants. This illustrious list showcases the distinctive flavours and gastronomic opulence of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City."

The Michelin Guide Ceremony unfolded in an atmosphere of elegance and joy, graced by the presence of esteemed guests from both domestic and international spheres, particularly renowned chefs.

The gala dinner, featuring a delectable array of dishes prepared by Vietnamese and international chefs, tantalised the taste buds of the attendees. Each bite carried the essence of Vietnam's culinary heritage, showcasing refreshing flavours and innovative creations. The plate adorned with a twist on the traditional pho by the skilled hands of Chef Hoang Tung (from T.U.N.G Dining) left a lasting impression.

Michelin's evaluation process is an alchemical fusion of five essential criteria, namely the quality of ingredients, the culinary wizardry displayed, the harmonious symphony of flavours, the chef's unique persona reflected in their creations, and the consistency demonstrated over time and across the menu. Stars can be reassigned should a restaurant or chef fail to uphold the lofty standards expected.

The anonymous inspectors from Michelin play an integral role, their identities shrouded in mystery to preserve the utmost objectivity. Like culinary phantoms, they diligently assess restaurants, ensuring an impartial judgment that adds to the allure and credibility of Michelin's renowned ratings.

In the past, the Michelin stars have worked their magic, propelling restaurants and dining establishments to overnight stardom. In cities like San Francisco and Singapore, the workforce in Michelin-starred venues skyrocketed as the world clamoured to experience these gastronomic wonders. Thailand's street food vendors, graced with Michelin stars, witnessed an unprecedented surge in popularity, with tables booked months in advance and ardent food enthusiasts braving lengthy wait times.

With the unveiling of the Michelin Guide, Vietnam becomes an enchanting playground for culinary explorers. It presents a golden opportunity for tourists to indulge in unforgettable dining experiences while acting as a catalyst for the growth and recognition of restaurants across the country, propelling them onto the grand stage of global gastronomy.

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What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional