Western influence in the Vietnamese food scene is a tough feat, as only around 7% of locals choose a western dining experience when dining out.
What makes this figure more surprising, is that it’s mostly millennials and post-millennials that choose local fare over western food. Generation X, however, seems to have developed a palate for western food. But this does not mean that Vietnam is closed to the idea of other nations influencing their arrangements of spices and herbs in beloved dishes. Some of the local foodie hotspots are known for their Asian twists and European fine dining experiences.
The Return Of The Expats
With the return of the Viet Kieu, the local food scene in Vietnam is a mixture of local cuisine infused with exotic spices from across the world. Vietnamese ex-pats who are returning to Vietnam in droves, bring with them the African, Latin, Indian, and Asian flavors. These combinations are seen in high-end restaurants and cafes that are popping up in places such as Ho Chi Minh City and affectionately referred to as the Saigon revival. There are many incentives in place for the Viet Kieu, and while it was formerly considered a slur, this term is now associated with a group that is vital to the reintegration of Vietnam into a global community. Not only do the returning children of Vietnam enjoy certain tax breaks, they also happen to contribute millions to the economy.
International Influences Sparks Curiosity At Methods
Thanks to events such as the International Food Festival celebrated in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam is known as the kitchen of the world. Dishes from countries such as the Republic of Korea, China, and India all feature on the menu. This undoubtedly opens up the door to culinary exploration and much like restaurants in Bangkok, bistros in France, and street carts in Korea, flavor exploration is taking an about-turn by offering a fusion of flavors. While there is still a place for traditional dishes, allowing additional flavor profiles on a menu allows cultural hotspots to flourish as it attracts feet from all parts of the world. For Vietnam, tourism is a major component of economic growth and good food experiences should form part of the package.
Elevating More Traditional Dishes
Historically, Vietnamese dishes might not have received the esteem that other cuisines across different parts of the world might have. Restaurants like Hoi An Sense Restaurant change this by elevating the Vietnamese dining experience. They take traditional Vietnamese dishes, add in a spectacular view from its rooftop destination, and throw in tranquil decor to provide diners with a culinary experience that delights all the senses. This changes the status quo back to Vietnamese food receiving a coveted spot as part of a fine dining experience. Restaurants like these elevate dishes like homemade rice flour rolls, spring rolls, and traditional charcoal grills.
For those who wish to sample the culinary treasures in Vietnam, it’s important to sample an eclectic array of dishes and experience in order to get a feel for this diverse nation.