This year has been a tremendous year for restaurants and bars. And so we want to take this moment to celebrate the people responsible for a twelve months full of epic openings, drinks, lunches and dinners.
The main awards will be two jury prizes—selected by a group of twenty foodies, chefs, and industry insiders. One is for the bar of 2018 and the other for restaurant of 2018. We also wanted to measure the public’s mood, so we arranged two polls to decide our People’s Choice Bar and People’s Choice Restaurant awards. The winners will be announced at Vietcetera’s Restaurant & Bar Awards 2018 night to be hosted in mid-January 2019.
The Nominees And Awards In Full For Vietcetera’s Restaurant & Bar Awards 2018
Beyond those four key awards will be eight more prizes decided upon by Vietcetera’s 20-person editorial and video production teams. In each category, there will be one runner up and one winner. Here are the awards and the five nominees for each.
The Mission Impact Award Presented By Jio Health
The success of restaurants and bars depends on serving up unmissable dishes and drinks. But the mission impact award recognizes those restaurateurs who look beyond profit to a greater social purpose—whether it’s employing blind and partially sighted staff, supporting sustainable farming, uplifting at-risk youth, or any other of the myriad of ways restaurants and bars can serve the community.
Maison Marou Saigon
Brand To Watch Award Presented By Wink Hotels
Big things have small beginnings. And so one of the gratifying things about covering the food and beverage scene in Saigon today is seeing restaurants and bars nailing their design and identity and then blossoming with a second and maybe a third venue…until they’ve become a brand. So, this is an award that recognizes business saavy as much as it does good food and drinks—and all our nominees have both.
Quan Ut Ut
Neighborhood Hangout Award Presented By Vietnam Craft Bia
Saigon’s hoods are getting good—whether it’s the sleepy corner of District 1 called Da Kao that’s waking up, or the Thao Dien enclave of District 2 that’s buzzing enough to keep residents from heading in to District 1. This is also an award that honors mid-priced restaurants, the ones you can go to any night of the week, but which are also perfect for taking out-of-town guests to for a slice of lesser-seen Saigon.
Most Overachieving F&B Group Award Presented By Anantara Quy Nhon Villas
Many of our F&B Group nominations are just starting out. Others have been around for some time, but are buying into modern restaurants and concepts and lending them their years of experience. By 2020, Vietnam’s F&B industry is expected to be in Asia’s top three for growth and so these are the groups that are driving the industry’s expansion in the white-hot Vietnam market.
Red Wok Investment
Eight Four Collective
Lifetime Achievement Award Presented By Kamereo Vietnam
With so many changes to the restaurant and bar landscape, it’s easy to forget the places that have been delivering for years. Trends come and go, restaurants open and close, but these five nominees have all proven their worth over a number of years.
Design of 2018 Presented By District Eight
Innovative design was an overriding trend among some of the most exciting restaurant and bar openings of 2018. As international restaurateurs and F&B groups enter the local market, they’re also bringing with them some of the most exciting design talent from Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, and Japan. All five of our nominees in this inaugural Vietcetera’s Restaurant & Bar Awards 2018 list have spaces that raised the standard this year.
Chef of 2018 Presented By ỐPLA
While we’re having a good time, the chefs and cooks are slaving in the kitchen. And besides the unfavorable working hours and uncomfortable workplace conditions it’s becoming harder to run a successful restaurant—even when the food’s on point, location, service, or any one of a number of other factors can jeopardize the success of a restaurant. Added to that, it seems chefs now are expected to be social media marketers and media personalities as much as they’re expected to constantly evolve their menus. So this award is where we give credit where it’s due.
Julien Perraudin (Quince Saigon)
Peter Cuong Franklin (Anan Saigon)
Julio Gomez (Tomatito)
George Bloomfield (Stoker Woodfired Grill & Bar)
Julien Thabault (Octo Tapas Restobar)
Trend of 2018 Presented By Serif Space
Restaurants and bars aren’t limited to just the people and the concepts. It’s also about the trends. What new trends are emerging that keeps this food and beverage market so exciting for all of us? This award is given to the top trend of 2018, to the countless pioneers who represent their trade. They are blazing a trail and taking risks way larger than just opening a restaurant or bar. Rather, they are starting a countrywide food and beverage fashion. Here are our top five trends of 2018.
New Vietnamese Cuisine
Grand Jury Participants
The selected grand jury of insider experts, frequent diners from a range of industries, and a couple of our own team members from Vietcetera were asked to name their favorite five restaurants and bars, with no restrictions upon their selection except they could not vote for any venue they had an affiliation to—such as being its bartender, chef, or owner. Here are the grand jury participants.
Julio Gomez, Head Chef, Tomatito Saigon
Myriam Nguyen, Account Manager, Accor Hotels Group
Peter Nguyen, Bartender, Rabbit Hole
Peter Cuong Franklin, Chef and Owner, Anan Saigon
Luan Khanh, Director, Speed POS
Michael Piro, COO, Indochina Capital
Tuan Le, Director, The Lab Saigon
Thuy Minh, Media Personality, Billboard
Ho Dac Anh Thi, Hospitality Consultant
Roddy Battajon, Owner, Rhum Belami
Calvin Bui, Chef and Owner, El Camino
David Kaye, Editor-in-Chief, Vietcetera
Tam Le, Head Chef of Saigonita
Chad Mitchell, Director, Beervana International
My Yen Kang, Marketing Director/Publisher, DatVietVAC
Thai Quang Nguyen, Brand Consultant
Taku Tanaka, CEO and Co-Founder, Kamereo Vietnam
Vincent Mourou, Co-Founder, Marou Chocolate
Nguyen Tran Hoang Anh, Managing Director, The Purpose Group
Hao Tran, CEO and Co-Founder, Vietcetera
Restaurant of 2018 People’s Choice Award and Grand Jury Prize Presented By Beervana International
We held a vote in mid-December for the Restaurant of 2018 People’s Choice Award and will be disclosing the results for that and the Grand Jury Prize in mid-January. The Grand Jury was allowed to pick venues outside of the People’s Choice options.
Jardin des Sens
Octo Tapas Restobar
Quan Ut Ut
Stoker Woodfired Grill & Bar
Bar of 2018 People’s Choice Award and Grand Jury Prize Presented By Speed POS
Like for the restaurant pick, we held a vote in mid-December for the Bar of 2018 People’s Choice Award and will be disclosing the results for that and the Grand Jury Prize in mid-January. The Grand Jury was allowed to pick venues outside of the People’s Choice options.
Drinking & Healing
Layla – Eatery and Bar
2 Lam Son
Sake Central Saigon
Qui – Cuisine Mixology