Michelin in Vietnam: Why so many pho and bun cha but no Hue beef noodle soup (Bun bo hue)?


Michelin in Vietnam, michelin guide vietnam
Michelin in Vietnam, michelin guide vietnam

Michelin in Vietnam

Immediately after 103 restaurants and eateries in Vietnam were just awarded a star by the Michelin guide on the evening of June 6, there were many opinions on the table.

In addition to the 4 establishments that have been awarded the prestigious 1 Michelin star for restaurants with “high-quality food and outstanding culinary experiences worth stopping by when traveling to Vietnam”, the remaining 99 dining establishments in the list are listed in two other “categories” are Bib Gourmand and Michelin Selected.

This list of 103 restaurants has created a wave of heated debate throughout Vietnamese social networks. Tuoi Tre Online summarizes some outstanding comments.

Westerners care about texture, Vietnamese care about taste?

To explain why the rating of  Michelin Guide – an organization from the West  – is controversial in an Asian country like Vietnam, businessman Chuong Dang – who has lived abroad for a long time – gives a distinction. between Western and Vietnamese culinary evaluation methods.

He believes that the main difference is that Westerners care more about the texture of the dish, while Vietnamese pay more attention to the taste.

For example, in the US, to evaluate a good steak, people evaluate the tenderness, thickness, fat percentage, fat solubility, meat solubility and grilling technique.

Meanwhile, the Vietnamese have a ” spice regal ” (from Chuong Dang) when marinating a thin cutlet of ribs with no less than 10 spices, then baking it with honey and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

Comparing the methods of both sides can bring delicious pieces of meat and ribs. But according to businessman Chuong Dang:

“For a connoisseur, even a cook, to be able to confirm whether the pork cutlet is fresh this morning or frozen; whether it’s marinated overnight or even if it’s a quality product and the freezing process. Is the storage guaranteed? Each of these provenances differs significantly in price, even in the category of professional ethics.”

And this difference leads to the evaluation of dishes by “food reviewers” in Vietnam, which is mainly based on taste to conclude good or bad, and often ignores an important step, which is input materials.

Opponent, Concurr

Chef Tran Duy expressed his disagreement with the choice of 4 restaurants receiving one Michelin star this time.

He wrote: “The most important thing I see is that there is no restaurant in Vietnam that really deserves Michelin’s standards and expectations.

If I were Michelin, I might have to ask permission not to give any stars to Vietnam this time, because it’s too forced and lacks many criteria.”

Truong Tuan Anh commented on the regionality in culinary evaluation: “Michelin is still just a subjective evaluation agency with their goals and strategies. 

As for good and bad food, there is never a uniform range and criteria.

Must respect the taste and culinary culture of the locality there; People who go to eat must be “tolerant” to see the beauty of the culture in the food, but if they take the tongue from this region to taste other regional dishes, they lose”.

Meanwhile, journalist Pham Trung Tuyen sees the positives when Michelin enters Vietnam.

He wrote: “Michelin’s entry into Vietnam will more or less evoke a sense of standards for Vietnamese restaurants. Another plus, more important, is that when kitchen stars appear in Vietnam, it will create produce essential tourism products for international visitors to Vietnam. Stories that can be told about Vietnamese cuisine will appear in a more recognizable way.”

Pho is not famous, vermicelli is not good

As for the two famous dishes of Hanoi, pho and bun cha, there are many opinions disagreeing with Michelin’s choice.

With  pho – a dish that is often controversial , many people are surprised when they do not see famous restaurants in Hanoi such as Pho Bat Dan, which is more than a hundred years old in Hoan Kiem district, or Pho Lam, Pho Khoi Hoi in Hang Vai. … These are all long-standing shops and are considered by locals to have the “quality” of Hanoi.

Along with that, many argue that the two bun cha restaurants selected by Michelin are not typical for  Hanoi bun cha , which are expensive compared to the common ground but the quality is not commensurate.

Journalist Nguyen Thanh Trung commented: “An example of Michelin not having a deep understanding of Hanoi’s traditional street food is that they chose Bun Cha Tuyet 34 Hang Than. 

This restaurant used to be delicious, but now it’s too crowded, the grilled pork rolls are burnt, the sauce is not good and the service is poor, I don’t understand why it was chosen? Just like in the Michelin Selected called Bun Cha Dac Kim, all tourists eat it, the meat is too much to eat.”

Lawyer and researcher Le Nguyen Duy Hau raised a funny but also somewhat valid opinion. He was surprised when “there is not a single  noodle shop in Hue  or Quang noodles on the Michelin list while there are too many pho restaurants”.

He questioned why a dish “warmed the hearts of so many people at home and abroad, a dish that unites all skin colors and voices, a dish that has never caused a national controversy”. There is no restaurant on the Michelin list. That is Hue beef noodle soup.

Netizens nominate a popular restaurant

When seeing many large and famous restaurants on the list, Vietnamese netizens have a wave of nominations for popular and familiar restaurants of themselves and their families. Many people think that these small eateries should also get Michelin attention because of the very characteristic taste.

Mr. Hoang Nam Tien – vice president of FPT University – said that in everyone’s heart there will be a list of “my Michelin”.

In addition, netizens pointed out that some shops in the Bib Gourmand group have the criterion of “good food at affordable prices”, but the prices are not very affordable for Vietnamese people. They consider these shops “affordable” for foreigners living in Vietnam or tourists.

What is Michelin Selected and Bib Gourmand that hundreds of restaurants in Vietnam have been honored with?

After Michelin officially announced their arrival in Vietnam last December, secret appraisers, known for their expertise, connoisseurs of taste and extensive knowledge of international cuisine. traveled around Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in search of “hidden gems”.

According to Michelin, contrary to what many people think, the restaurants recommended in the Michelin guide are not only places that serve expensive fine dining. From posh restaurants to village pubs, trendy eateries to street food stalls, the Michelin guide has options for everyone, for every occasion and at every price point.

Therefore, there is also no fixed recipe for a restaurant selected for the Bib Gourmand list, which varies from place to place. A Bib Gourmand restaurant will leave diners satisfied because they have eaten well at a reasonable price.

Since 1997, the Bib Gourmand award has been given to “best value for money” restaurants where diners can be served a meal of starters, mains and desserts for the same price. reasonable.

This fair price is also assessed differently in different countries, depending on the local living standards, but the appraisers will still stick to the principle of finding the same high-quality eatery wherever they are. where.

“This ‘value for money’ award proves that great food doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag,” the Michelin guide states. Bib Gourmand restaurants are popular with users of the Michelin guide when looking for affordable dining establishments that don’t have to worry about quality.

“A restaurant on the recommendation list shows that the chef there uses quality ingredients and is well cooked, simply a delicious meal. That means the appraisers find the food there to be above average, but not up to the standard for a star or a Bib Gourmand award,” Michael Ellis, the international director of the Michelin guide, explained in a post. Written in 2017.

The 70 restaurants in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City recommended by Michelin are a colorful picture with culinary elements from local and many parts of the world such as France, Japan, Italy, Spain, and the Mediterranean region. Trung Hai…

Sharing is caring!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

Maybe you are interested:

{{ reviewsTotal }} Review
{{ reviewsTotal }} Reviews
{{ options.labels.newReviewButton }}
{{ userData.canReview.message }}