Exuding a sense of culture and adventure from the far north to the far south, Vietnam provides the perfect combination of beach and cultural touring for travellers seeking a truly authentic South-East Asia escape. This naturally beautiful country offers an array of attractions, from adrenaline-filled experiences along the spectacular Hai Van Pass, to utterly serene spa experiences, set amongst tropical gardens and beside marble temples.
One of Vietnam’s most memorable features - aside from its rich history and breathtaking natural beauty - is its wonderfully varied cuisine. Food throughout this colourful country focuses upon a unique balance of herbs, heat, sweetness, sourness, and bitterness, whilst geographical locations also play a key role in Vietnamese food. The North’s dishes are inspired by neighbouring China’s stir-fries and noodle soups, whilst the typically sweeter flavours of the South influence the use of key ingredients such as palm sugar and coconut cream.
We have selected our favourite culinary experiences to provide a true flavour of authentic Vietnam dining:
1. Sample street food culture at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi
Amongst the majestic buildings and tree-lined streets of Hanoi’s French Quarter, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi has managed to maintain its colonial grandeur since its opening in 1901. However, it’s dining scene has adjusted to the modernisation of Vietnam and its spectacular street food culture. Experience local outdoor dining traditions in a sublime setting with Sofitel Legend Metropole’s unique ‘Vietnamese BBQ Dinner’ and ‘Hanoi Streets Buffet’ — sample the tastes of street cuisine, such as Pho noodle soup and Bun Cha barbecued pork, whilst admiring the true beauty of the Spice Garden.
2. Food for thought at Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai
Perfectly positioned near the colourful markets and close-knit communities of central Vietnam, Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai presents an authentic connection to the region’s cultural heritage through a choice of inspiring and engaging activities including their Nami Hai Cooking Academy. Discover the culinary secrets behind one of the world’s healthiest cuisines — begin your day with an immersive journey to a place of local culinary interest — such as the Tra Que vegetable village or Phuoc Hai fishing dock — to inform you on the day’s menu, before returning to the hotel to produce a choice of the traditional cuisine of Vietnam, alongside some of the best chefs in the business, using produce directly from the hotel’s well-nurtured herb and vegetable farm.
3. Wander into the Wine Cave at Six Senses Ninh Van Bay
If you’re seeking a new level of dining experience, head below ground at the rustic-style retreat Six Senses Ninh Van Bay, along the coast of east Vietnam. Their intimate wine cave offers a luxurious dining experience amongst the naturally formed caves that lay hidden beneath Vietnam’s diverse landscapes. Dine on delicious local seafood and organic produce, each paired with delicate wines chosen by the hotel’s experienced sommelier. Simply savour the atmospheric lighting and good company, providing the perfect backdrop to discover the regions rich cuisine.
4. Creating connections through cuisine at Caravelle Saigon
In the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, Caravelle Saigon is located at the longstanding landmark address, 19 Lam Son Square, which, in turn, inspired the name of its new dining experience, Buffet Nineteen. Connecting guests, expats and locals through their love of food, the five-star buffet selection is served by Executive Chef, Darren Watson and includes freshly caught seafood, a host of enticing entrees and a table of desserts sure to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth. During the weekend, Buffet Nineteen comes alive as it hosts its regular Sunday Brunch — families, friends and travel companions mingle together around beautifully laid tables to sample a choice of delectable cuisine and free-flowing Champagne. This presents a true sense of how cuisine can inspire new connections in this culture-filled city.
5. Six Senses Con Dao – Discover a historic flavour
Located on Con Dao island in Vietnam’s untouched archipelago, Six Senses Con Dao offers a remote, yet accessible location away from the main hustle and bustle of central Vietnam’s busy streets. Although contemporary in design, the resort encapsulates the traditional flavours of Vietnamese fine dining in its authentic ‘Vietnamese by the Market’ restaurant. Beautiful Vietnamese cuisine is prepared by Miss Lan and her team using recipes which have been passed down through several generations, ensuring that authentic southern flavours and ingredients from Vietnam’s colourful past are never forgotten.
Whether you prefer the soups and stir-fries of the Chinese-influenced north, or the sweeter broths and creamy desserts of the south, the passion and flare behind the cuisine of Vietnam ensures its simplicity never becomes boring.
To create your own culinary adventure in Vietnam, please call our Travel Experts.