Bridges: What restaurants would you take Japanese clients and partners visiting Vietnam for the first time?
Tran: As a former post-graduate law student from Kyushu University back in 1999, I have been a big fan of Japanese food. But I must confess that Vietnamese cuisine differs considerably across the country, with each region having its own signature traditional dishes.
There are plenty of restaurants of note throughout the country, from north to south, all of which are ideal for first-time visitors from Japan.
In Ho Chi Minh City, Japanese visitors can head to Districts 1 and 4 to sample some of the quintessential southern dishes the region is known for, all while enjoying the dynamic atmosphere of the city. In Hanoi, the majority of traditional dishes can be found in the so-called “Old Quarter,” where visitors can indulge themselves in a great blend of traditional northern cuisine.
While we would typically host visiting Japanese clients in some of the country’s most refined and well-known restaurants, we can’t ignore the fact that Vietnam’s most delicious food are sold and served on the streets and this is well received as “unique Vietnam” by our Japanese clients and business partners.
Showcasing its dynamic history, culture, philosophy and geography, street food in Vietnam is one of the healthiest, tastiest and most distinct cuisines in the world. I would strongly suggest that Japanese visitors sample banh mi, banh xeo, goi cuon, bun cha, pho cuon and egg coffee, among the myriad of options available.