La Table Hanoia, A Design Scape That Goes Back to The Future For Inspiration | Vietcetera
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Dec 08, 2022
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La Table Hanoia, A Design Scape That Goes Back to The Future For Inspiration

La Table Hanoia showcases lacquer, from Vietnam’s heritage of fine craftsmanship, as the focal point of its fresh new look and feel.
La Table Hanoia, A Design Scape That Goes Back to The Future For Inspiration

La Table Hanoia is inspired by the beautifully hand crafted Vietnamese wares from parent company Hanoia.

Lacquerware typically manifests as boxes of varying sizes, picture frames, or tableware, generally made of wood and decoratively covered with lacquer. These artisan products are very popular around the world, with the production hub of lacquer centering around East Asian countries like China, Japan, Korea, and of course, Vietnam.

Such Asian lacquerware is produced using several coats of the dried sap of a unique type of indigenous tree species named Toxicodendron vernicifluum. On special occasions, such creations may also be dusted with gold or silver to further enhance their appeal.

Indeed, Vietnam’s capability to produce world-class lacquer was recognized by global luxury icon Hermes, who has, for many years, been sourcing their lacquer ware products in Vietnam in partnership with The Open Asia Group.

Open Asia is an inspiring company, now staffed by over 1,500 employees, formed in 2008 as a commercial bridge to connect Vietnam with Europe. They have brought some of the most illustrious European brands to Vietnam, such as Audi, Hermes, and Marc Jacobs, while simultaneously building Vietnamese heritage brands, such as Alba Wellness and Hanoia lacquerware, and bringing them to the world’s attention. Around six years ago, they also purchased the historic Press Club building in the grandiose French quarter on 12 Ly Dao Thanh to continue their strategy to promote Vietnamese culture.

The Press Club has always been an institution on the fine dining scene in Hanoi where guests were once welcomed at their La Plume cocktail bar before dining at La Table du Chef, which had been a leading restaurant in Hanoi then helmed by Alain Dutournier, a 2 star Michelin chef from Paris.

However, like many successful institutions, the Press Club also needed to evolve, so Gregoire Du Pasquier, the co-founder of G8A architects, was commissioned to refresh the look and feel of their bar and restaurant on the 3rd floor of the Press Club Building.

G8A is one of the leading architects in Vietnam that’s well known for their devotion to sustainability, regeneration, and developing award-winning projects such as Jakob Saigon, a green factory recently pronounced "Building of the Year" by esteemed online publication Dezeen.

Given Gregoire’s design philosophy and Open Asia’s desire to promote Vietnamese craftsmanship, it seemed like a natural fit to incorporate lacquerware from their prestige brand Hanoia into the design scape. The concept would be inspired by Hanoia’s great heritage blended with a fresh and modern feel to attract a new generation of consumers.

Source: La Table Hanoia

The color scheme is primarily green to reflect a connection with nature and gray so as not to be too flashy and promote relaxation. There is an excellent use of space and perspective with a low ceiling and no obstructed views, as guests can both “see” and “be seen.” I loved the attention to detail, especially around the bronze elements with mysterious proverbs and poems in both French and Vietnamese.

When asked to summarize the design approach, Gregoire said, “La Table Hanoia has been inspired firstly by the multiple historic layers of the space and also by the unique design approach of Hanoia brand. We wanted to pay tribute to the building name “Press Club” (the former gathering place for correspondent journalists from abroad), recognized by the letters engraved discreetly on the tables and some decoration elements on the walls. Then the lacquer, the brand mark of Hanoia, gives a unique character to the arches on the ceiling but also to all tables. La Table Hanoia, although an exclusive and quiet place for eating or drinking cocktails, is also a warm and approachable concept ready to pop on the Hanoi scene.”

The upturned conical arches affixed to the central area of the ceiling are undoubtedly the signature design feature of the concept, and we made sure to ask Gregoire more about these.

The lacquer arches affixed to the ceiling are the signature design statement of La Table Hanoia.

“The curved shapes of the arches reflect the existing roof structure above. The lacquer arches help to recognize the current status of the building and enhance it with its green color lightened at night. Finished with lacquer, these arches express the “savoir-faire” or know-how of the prestigious Hanoia craftsmanship.”

We also loved the detail around the lacquered wall with the bronzed, captioned finishes. Gregoire also explained, “The main wall uses a pattern made of wood elements inspired by the mirror support used at Hanoia. The mat black color is inspired by the first layers of the traditional way of lacquer, using oil to prepare the support of the final layers of painting/lacquer (11 in total). Behind those wooden element frames sit an abstract image of all sources and references used by Hanoia to develop its branding. Vertical lines fabricated from copper are inserted regularly and support poetic sentences about the original use of the building, named Press Club.”

Comfortable yet understated furnishings at La Table Hanoia.

There is no chance that Vietcetera’s Food & Drink Editor could allow himself to feature any bar or restaurant concept without sampling their produce. I recommend that readers try their cascading pho cocktail, invented by one of Press Club’s first-ever bar tenders and award-winning mixologist Pham Tien Tiep. I also loved their fresh take on Vietnamese sharing plates, which have been presented as “Vietnamese tapas,” served on beautiful signature lacquer stages and reflecting a wide variety of national favorites from the North down to the South.

Hanoia Regional Cuisine Platters
Hanoia Regional Cuisine Platters
Hanoia Regional Cuisine Platters

The rebirth of Le Table Hanoia arrives at a very exciting time in the evolution of the dining scene in Hanoi, which has recently celebrated the arrival of Capella Hanoi, Kuusi, and Khoi by Tung, a relaunch of Le Beaulieu at Metropole and also witnesses the continued advancement of burgeoning restaurants like Gia and Chapter Dining.

With openings slated for 2023 of The Four Seasons and Fairmont luxury hotels and the arrival also of the Michelin Guide in Hanoi, this magnificent storied city is entering a golden age of hospitality.