There are tons of reasons for Vietnam’s food and beverage industry to celebrate — from the inclusion of Anan Saigon in Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants last year to the reopening of restaurants, bars and dining spaces after the lockdown and just recently, the Vietnam Restaurant & Bar Awards 2022.
The prestigious event, which was the highlight of this year’s Flavors Vietnam program by Vietcetera and Mastercard, finally crowned the most creative and highly innovative players in the industry. Fresh from the Vietnam Food & Beverage Conference in Saigon a day before, the Banh Mi Awards as it’s fondly called, brought the community together for a night of recognition, good food and good company on February 19 at Mai House Saigon.
Around 600 people, including the Grand Jury who played a big role in this year’s awards ceremony, all rejoiced and applauded the industry stars who’ve proven yet again that the local restaurant and bar sector is burning even brighter amidst a crisis.
Here are the big winners of the Vietnam Restaurant & Bar Awards 2022.
Brand To Watch: Roka Fella
Established just in 2020 — in the midst of the pandemic — Roka Fella is a new Saigon’s bustling District 1. But even in just a short time, this contemporary Japanese restaurant is a sure treat to the palates. Carefully selected fresh ingredients from Japan are cut, prepared and served perfectly straight onto the table.
Spearheaded by renowned chef Raymond Tan — the name behind Sushi Jin, Kurama Robatayaki, and most recently, Hiryu in Singapore — Roka Fella takes its guests on a journey into Japan’s culinary culture through a refined omakase dining service featuring the best sushi, Tamago, and Ikura you’ll ever find.
Other Nominees: Å by T.U.N.G / CTY Kitchen+Bar / AmDang Typhoon / le gout de Gia
Neighborhood Hangout of The Year People's Choice: The Running Bean
Even from afar, The Running Bean already exudes a cheerful, warm vibe — like a tight embrace of a lover after a long day or that familiar smile of a long-lost friend. The wide glass windows invite the light to freely come in, giving more life to the cafe’s classic, wooden features. It is this welcoming element that makes Running Bean a go-to place for easy conversations, laughter, and of course, good coffee and flavor-packed light snacks.
Other Nominees: Iberico / CTY Kitchen+Bar / Kashew Cheese / Da Bao / La Viet / Tach Spaces / Gia Room / Katinat / Tranquil
Neighborhood Hangout of The Year - Grand Jury: TÁCH SPACES
TÁCH SPACES is more than just an art space, cafe, and entertainment center packed into a multi-story complex. It’s a cultural hub that provides a platform for creatives, food enthusiasts, and dreamers to come together and build meaningful connections. The 1000-square-meter space is flexibly designed to accommodate different brands — Nga Art Space, Ca Phe TACH, VIA20, and CHUA — that offer worthwhile experiences at the heart of Vietnam’s capital city.
Design of the Year: Pizza 4P's
There’s something about Pizza 4P’s that still makes it the talk of the town a decade after it served its first pizza in Saigon. The food? 100%. The company’s sustainability credentials? Definitely!
But it’s also how the restaurant is designed — open-air, spacious, elegant but not intimidating, comfortable but also exciting. Pizza 4P’s owes its unique “oasis” vibe to Japanese architects Shunri Nishizawa and Joe Chikamori. The spirit of Japanese hospitality is well-represented by the gorgeous black and brown settings, brick walls, industrial finishing and dim lighting — with a big nod to sustainability and socially ethical operations and practices since Day 1.
Other Nominees: Hum Vegeterian, Garden & Restaurant / Quince / CTY Kitchen+Bar / 2 Lam Son / Opera / Pizza 4P’s / Yazawa Saigon
Social Responsibility Award: Pizza 4P's
Pizza 4P’s has always been committed to “making the world smile for peace”, without compromising the environment it has built its business on. This is most definitely why the restaurant continues to reap our “Social Responsibility Award” since Vietnam Restaurant & Bar Awards was launched in 2018.
The restaurant knows its impact to society, and it banks on that to promote goodness in both its locally and ethically sourced fresh ingredients and in its operations. Across its 20 locations, the restaurant chain highlights food waste reduction, renewable energy and holistic dining experiences.
Other Nominees: Kashew Cheese / Noir / KoTo / Hoa Sua
Bartender of the Year: Vũ Ngọc from Doozy Bar
The whole F&B community celebrated with Vu Ngoc when he was crowned World Class Bartender of the Year 2021. His flair in his chosen craft has always been evident, and recognitions for this talented bartender don’t come as a surprise anymore.
Vu, who founded the high-tech Doozy Bar, started his bartending journey in 2012. Described as “fun and has impish personality” by the Diageo Bar Academy, the 27-year-old bartender takes bold risks, bravely experimenting with different flavor profiles until he comes up with a cocktail recipe that’s too impeccable to resist.
Other Nominees: Dinh Thep (STIR) / Hoang Quyen (The Key of Bar&Tender) Grace Zhang (Remy Cointreau, Firkin) / Vang Hieu Trung (Dot Bar, Firkin) / Do Thanh Tai (Summer Experiment)
Chef of the Year: Hoàng Tùng from TUNG dining and Å by TUNG
Hoang Tung has positioned himself as one of the culinary talents to watch out for, which he definitely deserves after bringing into Vietnam his unique 20-course tasting collection. In just a few years, Tung made T.U.N.G Dining and A by TUNG must-visit dining destinations in Hanoi and Saigon, respectively.
Nothing gives him such inspiration as watching chefs in their element, getting creative on a daily basis, he says on his website. And it’s true. The young chef constantly innovates dishes, bringing the different fine flavors of Europe (where his culinary passion blossomed) and his home country Vietnam. Each of the 20 courses he serves delivers an authentic experience you won’t get elsewhere.
Other Nominees: Julien Perraudin (Quince) / Peter Cuong Franklin (Anan) / Francis Thuan (Esta Eatery) / Bao La (Madam Kew)
Bar of the Year - People's Choice: Dot Bar
Dot Bar, a cozy cocktail bar in Saigon’s District 1, is one of the go-to spots for happy hours. It’s where people hang out to enjoy the early hours of the night with a classic cocktail or wine in hand. Dot’s loyal patrons consider it a Saigonese speakeasy where mixology miracles happen. And they’re not wrong about it.
Other Nominees: CTY Kitchen+Bar / STIR / Climb - Hidden Cocktail Bar / Gallery Bespoke Cocktail Bar
Bar of the Year - Grand Jury: Madam Kew
The charismatic Madam Kew has always been on top of every Saigonese’s mind since it opened in 2020. Situated just above the award-winning Quince, this immersive bar features the best selections of wine, cocktails, gins and cognac. Its distinct ambiance — sophisticated and straightforward — pays homage to the different flavors that define Asia, and serves playful drinks that delight even the most discerning palates.
Other Nominees: Summer Experiment / Layla Eatery & Bar / The Haflinton-Hanoi / Yugen, Ministry of Men / Rabbit Hole / Racha Room
Restaurant of the Year - People's Choice: Pincho - Tapas Kitchen and Drinks
As the first and rare tapas restaurant in Hanoi, Pincho has set the standards high for innovative menus and quality dining experience. The restaurant, which perfectly complements the ancient street of Cao Ba Quat, is a haven for tapa lovers, with its thrilling interpretations of the freshest and thoughtfully selected ingredients from the region.
Taking inspiration from the culinary culture of Spain, Pincho offers a lifestyle experience that’s best enjoyed with friends and family. The two-floor restaurant, both designed impressively, has private spaces for intimate gatherings or a large family dinner. The rooftop, meanwhile, can be a great spot to stare at the twinkling city lights while indulging in a cozy meal.
Other Nominees: CTY Kitchen+Bar / The Brix / Yazawa Saigon / Ngoam
Restaurant of the Year - Grand Jury: Anan Saigon
Anan’s big win at Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants last year was hailed as a long-overdue recognition. Maybe it is. But for Vietcetera’s Vietnam Restaurant & Bar Awards, this modern restaurant standing amidst a busy street market in District 1, has always been a force to be reckoned with.
Chef Peter Cuong Franklin’s ways of employing traditional techniques and local ingredients to create a culinary masterpiece made Anan the best representation of what Vietnamese fine dining should be: Creative, sustainable, imaginative.
“Our purpose since we opened Anan four years ago has been to reimagine, redefine and elevate Vietnamese cuisine,” said Chef Peter in an interview with Vietcetera last year. And as Anan continues to innovate and push boundaries, a more exciting and flavorful future awaits for Vietnam’s F&B industry.
Other Nominees: Quince / A by T.U.N.G / Restaurant Esta / Pizza 4P’s / Gia Restaurant / Hum Vegetarian, Garden & Restaurant / Sol Kitchen & Bar / Yazawa