MICHELIN Guide Vietnam Is Coming: It’s Official

MICHELIN Guide Vietnam

Finally. After months of rumors. And lots of chefs giving you’re-not-from-around-here glances at their diners. The MICHELIN Guide has announced its arrival is real, and imminent. 

Đọc bài viết bằng Tiếng Việt

Very imminent. The MICHELIN Guide Vietnam will be revealed at an event in June 2023 for the first time ever. The MICHELIN Guide’s International Director, Gwendal Poullennec is looking forward to it. “We have been looking at Vietnam’s gastronomic scene for quite a long time,” he said at the Capella Hanoi-hosted press conference, “and we are delighted to finally announce the MICHELIN Guide’s arrival in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.” And it’s the Sun Group conglomerate, the people behind signature hospitality projects like the InterContinental Đà Nẵng Sun Peninsula Resort, JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa, and Hôtel De La Coupole – MGallery By Sofitel, as well as Capella Hanoi, that’s helped attract the MICHELIN Guide to Vietnam. 

Preparing For The MICHELIN Guide’s Arrival 

It’s probably not coincidental that some of the country’s high-end operators have been bringing in MICHELIN-pedigree chefs and brands, including the Capella Hanoi. There’s Hibana at their Koki House Of Senses with Chef Juinichi Yoshida who got his Roppongi teppanyaki restaurant, Ishigaki Yoshida, a MICHELIN Star. And in Saigon, there’s Da Vittorio, a family-run Italian restaurant brand already with 8 MICHELIN Stars to its name, that’s opened in Times Square. 

It’s official. The MICHELIN Guide is coming to Vietnam.

Hot On The Heels Of The Thailand MICHELIN Guide 2023 Announcement

The announcement follows shortly after the announcement of Thailand’s latest MICHELIN Guide for 2023, on 24 November, which featured 361 places to eat including six new restaurants earning a one MICHELIN Star, another six restaurants retaining their two-star status, but still no three-star award – which shows the elusive nature of the MICHELIN Guide’s highest honor. 

MICHELIN’s Anonymous Inspectors Are Looking For Exceptional Cuisine

Three MICHELIN Stars are awarded by the organization’s anonymous inspectors for exceptional cuisine “worth a special journey”. Two MICHELIN STARS is for excellent cooking “worth a detour.” And one star for quality cooking “worth a stop.” Plus, there’s an award below the stars, called the Bib Gourmand, for friendly places with reasonably-priced good food.

Part of the allure is the MICHELIN Guide’s history. Created in 1900 by the Michelin tire company, the guide was designed to support the boom in the automobile industry – giving drivers curated pit stops on their route. They’ve maintained their philosophy of curating the gastronomy, and spread the guide globally. Today, there’s over 3,000 Michelin-starred restaurants in over 40 countries. And the number is growing – as evidenced by this announcement of the MICHELIN Guide Vietnam.

The Country’s Best Chefs Hold Their Breath

Although the MICHELIN Guide has its detractors who say its adjudication process isn’t clear, that it couldn’t possibly offer fair coverage across such a wide geographical area, that it’s favors French cuisine, and that maybe it’s all a bit pretentious, you’ll rarely find any chefs picking up a star or two complaining. It does happen sometimes. Jay Fai, when she became Thailand’s only Michelin-starred street food restaurant, asked to hand it back when ​​large crowds descended on her Raan Jay Fai. 

The MICHELIN Guide has also faced competition from the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards. Although the line is sometimes blurred, the former is thought to reward cooking that defies time and trends. And the latter is perceived as capturing the zeitgeist of the gastronomy world. 

That won’t stop Vietnam’s best chef’s from holding their breath in June 2023 during the announcement. Especially chefs like Hoang Tung from T.U.N.G Dining and Å by TUNG, Matteo Fontana at Da Vittorio Saigon, Hervé Rodriguez from Hervé Dining Room, Quang Dung from Chapter Dining & Grill, Sushi Rei’s Tomohiro Sawaguchi, Peter Cuong Franklin from Anan Restaurant, and Thierry Mounon from La Villa. 

The MICHELIN Guide still has the power to put any restaurant on the map, and to boost a country’s gastro-tourism. 

The MICHELIN Guide’s Judging Criteria

According to MICHELIN, all that matters is the quality of the cuisine. Their five criteria are: the quality of products, the cooking techniques employed, the balance of flavors, the cuisine as a representation of its chef’s personality, and consistency (both over time and across the menu).

All the contenders in Vietnam will be looking to show off all five criteria to the inspectors who are coming…if they haven’t already been.


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