Four restaurants in Vietnam, including three in Hanoi and one in Ho Chi Minh City, have been awarded one Michelin Star by the prestigious French dining guide Michelin, a first for Vietnam.
Hanoi’s Gia, Tam Vi, and Hibana by Koki were rated one star as was the Anan Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City at an awards ceremony in the Vietnamese capital city on Tuesday.
According to Michelin’s rating system, one Michelin Star means ‘high quality cooking, worth a stop,' two Michelin Stars signifies ‘excellent cooking, worth a detour,’ and three Michelin Stars features ‘exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.’
Among the four honorees, Anna Saigon is the only restaurant in Vietnam to be listed among the 50 best eateries in Asia earlier this year by food and beverage specialist 50 Best, a U.K.-based organization that features the world’s latest trends.
Restaurants that receive one Michelin Star will be honored in The Michelin Guide, a guidebook published annually since 1900 by tire manufacturer Michelin that reviews and recognizes exceptional restaurants around the world.
Besides these four recognitions, 99 other restaurants in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City were also recognized with Michelin Selected (70 awardees) and the Bib Gourmand Awards (29 awardees), while three individuals were honored with Michelin Guide Special Awards.
The Michelin Selected list covers 32 restaurants in Hanoi and 38 others in Ho Chi Minh City while the Bib Gourmand group consists of 29 eateries, including 13 in Hanoi and 16 in Ho Chi Minh City.
Meanwhile, the three Michelin Guide Special Awards included the Young Chef Award given to chef Sam Tran of Gia Restaurant, Sommelier Award to Yu Yamamoto – a sommelier at Lua Restaurant – and the Service Award to chef Nguyen Thi Nu of Vietnam House Restaurant.
As such, a total of 103 eateries, two chefs, and one sommelier were honored by Michelin on Tuesday.
“We’re very proud to finally present the first restaurant selection in Vietnam, with a total of 103 restaurants in the Guide, highlighting 4 restaurants awarded with one Michelin Star,” Gwendal Poullennec, international director of the Michelin Guide, said at the awards ceremony.
The first selection in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City highlighted the differences and variety in what they have to offer, Poullennec stated.
Hanoi “offers a very laid back and relax vibe with small shops and restaurants found mostly in the old quarter” and Vietnam’s traditional cuisine with northern flavors is very common in this city, Poullennec commented.
Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh City “is a bustling and rapidly-growing city that offers a unique energy to all travelers and has a diverse variety of cuisine,” he added.
The international director also said the aforementioned recognitions were just the beginning of the Michelin Guide’s journey in Vietnam and that Michelin inspectors would continue discovering many more gastronomic spots in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in the future.
Currently, there are over 3,000 Michelin-starred restaurants in nearly 40 countries around the world, according to the Michelin Guide website.