An Nam – Hue-style Vietnamese Cuisine for Hong Kong

| November 4, 2013 | 3 Comments

Hong Kong, long recognized as a paradise for food lovers (foodies) of East and West inspired cuisines – with over 11,000 restaurants – it is not surprising that it is considered the culinary capital of Asia. Although strongly influenced by Cantonese cuisine, modern Hong Kong is an international city of commerce, and with this status comes an unlimited variety of food and gourmet expertise to choose from. Most exciting for locals and visitors alike, is a recent trend of restaurateurs that reintroduce authenticity in cuisine, produce, preparations, traditional eating utensils, décor, and artisan skills. Welcome to An Nam – Hué-style Vietnamese cuisine, Hong Kong’s most celebrated new addition.

An Nam Entrance

Successfully combined individual skills and talents

Entrepreneur trio Steve Leung, Paul Kwok and Tino Kwan of 1957 & Co., successfully combine their individual skills and talents, bringing together architect and interior, restaurateurship and lighting design to conceptualize and realize unique dining experiences authentic to their origins. Their latest concept is An Nam (the Chinese name for Vietnam during the Tang Dynasty), located in fashionable Lee Gardens Causeway Bay. Sophisticated Vietnamese cuisine, this dining concept pays homage to the Hué region. Hué is known for its historic monuments and Imperial cuisine, once the center of the Vietnamese royalty, Hué dishes are quite distinct in their characteristics. Generally more petite in serving size, Hué cuisine is much more refined in presentation and flavor – a vestige of an imperial past.

Deep Fried Spring Rolls

A modern fusion of French and Vietnamese décor

The An Nam dining concept is set within a modern fusion of French and Vietnamese décor, featuring marble and ceramic floor tiling, teal-colored tones, and dark timbers elegantly depict in wall features, antique furnishing and in rows of booths seating. A reminder of long-ago colonial times, one enters An Nam with a sense of elegance and sophistication, key hallmarks to a unique dining experience. As Paul Kwok, 1957 & Co’s CEO and restaurateur, explains: “great care was given to the concept design and planning stages, whereby each piece within An Nam has been sourced for its authenticity and the stories they entail.” One example, as Paul points out, are the wooden wall features, which are made up of old Vietnamese doors and window coverings, neatly and artistically assembled to reflect the classic craftsmanship of their times.

Roasted Chicken with sticky rice cake

Attention to detail throughout

This attention to detail is carried through in lighting features, traditional tableware and most importantly, in the menu design. A comprehensive selection of traditional Vietnamese dishes and locally, rare-to-find Hué delicacies, evoke a sense of experiencing Vietnam’s past and present. Interestingly, Royals favored their chefs to come from the local folk; they were skilled to source local fish, meats and vegetables, and they creatively and experientially presented a great number of recipe varieties to impress Emperors and their guests. It is said, that of Vietnam’s 1700 dishes, nearly 1400 may have originated from the Hué region.

Signature King Prawns

Signature King Prawns

An Nam’s menu, for example, features Steamed Rice Flan with minced shrimps, crispy bread and spring onion. The Cha Gio or deep fried spring rolls, boosting savory combinations of crab-meat, shrimp and pork, wrapped in the most delicate paper-like crepe sourced from makers in Vietnam. Unlike the more common and oilier spring roll, this chao gio retains a softness that is most surprising. An Nam’s popular main courses include Roasted Chicken fillets, honey-glazed, juicy, and accompanied by mini rice cakes that are meticulously prepared. Half-shell Sautéed Tiger Prawns with a tamarind sauce, offers a freshwater shellfish variety from Central Vietnam. A must-try classic Vietnamese staple is the Beef pho noodle soup – prepared in a lengthy nine-hour process, this dish best depicts Hué’s cuisine for its richness in taste, texture, and ingredients.

Beef Pho

Characteristic of traditional Vietnamese cooking are present in delicate sauces, pastes and herbs that are made of fresh ingredients. An Nam aims to establish itself as authentically Vietnamese, engaging guests in holistic dining experiences that are certain to stimulate all the senses. Ăn ngon nhé!

An Nam Vietnamese Restaurant, 4/F, Lee Gardens One, 33 Hysan Avenue, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong – Tel: (852) 2787 3922

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Category: Dining Experiences, Food & Wine, restaurants

About the Author ()

PhD in Consumer Engagement - the engagement of customers with one another, with a company or a brand. The initiative for engagement can be either consumer- or company-led and the medium of engagement can be on or offline. With a strong focus on fostering consumer experience innovation, I seek out brands, product, service and experience providers that thrive to define the art of customer engagement.

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  1. Wow this looks good. I’m in HK end Dec will check it out.

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