While 2020 got off to a rough start, 2021 was a remarkably difficult year for the food and beverage industry in Vietnam — months of lockdown and movement restrictions. But there’s no stopping for the restaurateurs and chefs in the country as they continue to try new strategies and keep the spirit of winning.
As we welcome the new year, Vietcetera and Mastercard kick off Flavors Vietnam 2022 along with a series of events that runs January through April: Vietnam F&B Conferences, Vietnam Restaurant & Bar Awards, Vietnam Restaurant Week, Vietnam Bar Week, Rising Chefs Challenge, and an original multimedia series dedicated to food and beverage. This year’s highlight is the Vietnam Restaurant & Bar Awards, fondly called the #BanhMiAwards to celebrate the country’s dedicated innovation in the restaurant and bar community, and to recognize key players and rising stars.
In 2020, following the Vietnam Food & Beverage Conference, Mai House in Ho Chi Minh City witnessed back-to-back events featuring Vietnam’s elder statesmen of the industry, entrepreneurs, connoisseurs, culinary enthusiasts, budding chefs and restaurateurs to toast the restaurants and bars that stepped up and stood out in the face of change and adversity.
Before we celebrate the winners of this year’s Vietnam Restaurant & Bar Awards, here’s to the 2020 winners and some of the highlights from the event.
Grand Jury’s Choice, Restaurant of the Year 2020: Quince Eatery
The Grand Jury’s Choice for Best Restaurant of 2020 went to Quince Eatery, the domain of fire-forged cuisine.
Winner: Quince Eatery
Nominees: Octo Tapas Restobar, Sol Kitchen, 4P’s, The Monkey Gallery, Esta Eatery, Stoker
People’s Choice, Restaurant of the Year 2020: Pizza 4P’s
Pizza 4P’s won the People’s Choice for Restaurant of the Year 2020 for their commitment to the freshest ingredients and their belief in the food’s ability to build a bright future.
Grand Jury’s Choice, Bar of the Year 2020: Layla Eatery & Bar
Layla Eatery & Bar won the Grand Jury’s Choice for Bar of the Year 2020 for creating an escapist hideaway in the heart of Saigon.
Winner: Layla Eatery & Bar
Runner-Up: Firkin Bar
Nominees: BamBam, MAD Wine Bar, Drinking & Healing, Dram, The First, Rabbit Hole
People’s Choice, Bar of the Year 2020: Bam Bam
The People’s Choice Award for Bar of the Year 2020 went to Bam Bam for a vibe of ever-young, all-out fun.
Chef of the Year 2020: Julien Perraudin (Quince Eatery)
For two consecutive years, Julien Perraudin took home the Chef of the Year award.
Winner: Julien Perraudin
Runner-Up: Francis Thuan
Nominees: Peter Cuong Franklin, Viet Hong, Pedro Goizueta
Bartender the Year 2020: Nguyen Huu Phu (Irusu)
Nguyen Huu Phu won our very first Bartender of the Year award for his determination and creativity in the field of mixology.
Winner: Nguyen Huu Phu
Runner-Up: Dinh Thep (Layla Eatery & Bar/Summer Experiment)
Nominees: Dat Nguyen (Yugen Bar), Trung Vang (Summer Experiment), Le Nguyen Phuc (Inthe MOOD)
Neighborhood Hangout of the Year 2020: Kin Dee Thai Gastropub
Kin Dee Thai Gastropub won Neighborhood Hangout of the Year for embodying the cool, casual vibe that invites company and more.
Winner: Kin Dee Thai Gastropub
Nominees: Laairai, East West, Yugen Bar
Design of the Year 2020: Okkio Caffe Thao Dien
Okkio Caffe, the popular and whimsically conceived cafe in Thao Dien, won Design of the Year for 2020.
Winner: Okkio Caffe
Runner-Up: Yugen Bar
Nominees: The Bloom (Thi Sach), Mama Sens, BAKES
Brand to Watch 2020: NOMU Izakaya
Fusion is nothing new, but no one in Saigon does it quite like the team at NOMU Izakaya.
Winner: NOMU Izakaya
Runner-Up: The Monkey Gallery
Nominees: The Vintage Emporium, Kiba, La Viet Coffee
Social Responsibility Award 2020: Pizza 4P’s
Winner of the 2020 Mission Impact Award, Pizza 4P’s has been committed from the first day to a sustainable future.
Winner: Pizza 4P’s
Runner-Up: Noir Dining in the Dark
Nominees: Song Cai Distillery, Blanc, Anan