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New yet familiar fare

Released at: 09:08, 23/11/2019

New yet familiar fare

Chef Nguyen Thanh Tung from NGON Villa Restaurant Hanoi and Viet Deli | Photos: VET Magazine

Winner of Iron Chef 2012 and with 30 years of experience in five-star dining, Chef Nguyen Thanh Tung from NGON Villa Restaurant Hanoi and Viet Deli tells VET about success in the business and what the future holds.

NGON Villa Hanoi is a major restaurant chain with a reputation for providing a culinary experience with a Vietnamese identity to local people and visitors alike. What factors lie behind NGON Villa Hanoi winning The Guide Award for two years in a row?

First all, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to customers from all over the world who have supported and placed their trust in NGON Villa Hanoi. Their attention and goodwill drives us to make NGON Villa Hanoi  even better every passing day. 

One key factor helping us record such achievements is the passion of myself and the NGON Villa Hanoi  team for Vietnamese cuisine. We are keen to promote local dishes and constantly create and innovate to make Vietnamese cuisine increasingly popular. The effort made to improve knowledge and skills is the secret of success for anyone who wishes to conquer the culinary world.

  Vietnamese cuisine has become more widely known around the world in recent years. What do you see as its strengths compared to other cuisine?

Vietnamese cuisine has unique and different nuances compared to Western dishes and certain advantages compared to the cuisine of other countries in the region. While Thai cuisine is hot and spicy and Chinese tends to be oily, Vietnamese brings a balance of sour, spicy, salty, and sweet. Local cuisine has subtlety, due to the preference for herbs and spices. Vietnam is also an agricultural country, so there is always abundant fresh ingredients and its long coastline means a rich source of seafood is readily available.

 What difficulties do restaurants serving Vietnamese cuisine face in reaching out internationally?

Compared with the standard of service found around the world, most restaurants in Vietnam are new to the game and lack professionalism. Many only focus on product quality without paying attention to service quality. The customer experience feels incomplete, especially at high-end restaurants. Restaurants still lack their own highlights or difference in style. Space is not a focus, with too little spent on interior arrangements. And the menus at many restaurants remain basic.

 What strengths does NGON Villa possess compared to its competitors in what is a fiercely competitive market?

In order to gain an advantage over competitors, we have oriented the restaurant towards an “all you can eat” style. The unlimited menu is like a luxury buffet, allowing diners to enjoy many dishes by serving each in small portions. Most restaurants serve large portions, giving customers no opportunity to experience the diversity and richness of Vietnamese cuisine.

Using clean and fresh ingredients is our top priority. All dishes are made in a home-cooked style, bringing new yet somehow familiar tastes to customers. Inspired by Vietnamese family meals, NGON Villa’s dishes taste like something a Vietnamese mother would cook.

Not only impressing customers with unforgettable tastes, NGON Villa also leaves a mark with its professional and dedicated service style, providing a perfect culinary experience.

 After its achievements in recent years, what are the goals and plans for NGON Villa Hanoi in particular and its sister, Viet Deli, in general in the future?

NGON Villa will continue to maintain its quality of service and its leading position in Vietnam’s culinary market. I hope it will continue to win The Guide Awards in the years to come and become the first choice of local and foreign customers. Viet Deli, meanwhile, has many projects in the pipeline to affirm its brand not only locally but also overseas. 

In the local market, we will expand to Phu Quoc Island, Nha Trang, Cat Ba Island, and Hue. Internationally, we will establish a presence on Hainan Island in China, Moscow, and Phnom Penh.

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