A culinary collaboration with a difference

A culinary collaboration with a difference

Thailand meets Vietnam on a plate in Hanoi

A culinary collaboration with a difference

If you ever needed a reason to visit Hanoi in Vietnam for food, I’m giving you one.

Located in the Old Quarter of Hanoi, Vietnam, Chapter Dining and Grill highlights different culinary traditions, where each dish is sculptured around exceptional flavours and plated as a work of art. 

Taking it a step further, Chapter Dining’s chef Quang Dung will hold a collaboration dinner with Asia’s No.1 restaurant 2023, Bangkok’s Le Du’s chef Thitid “Ton” Tassanakajohn on Feb 23. “The dinner will bring about a friendly celebration of Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. We are working on the menu with dishes designed with matching values from northern Vietnamese and Thai cuisine; a fun and delicate portray of the two countries’ cuisine,” says chef Dung. 

Not a stranger to collabs or cooking around Asia, chef Ton has cooked in Hanoi before. “My first pop-up in Hanoi was seven years ago, but it was in a hotel and was a wine dinner. This is the first time that I am cooking in a stand-alone restaurant in Hanoi,” he says.

Having met each other in Da Nang last year, chefs Dung and Ton exchanged philosophies, while feasting on the local delicacies, and as chef Dung puts it, “one thing led to another”. Since opening in December 2021, Chapter Dining was the first restaurant in Vietnam to incorporate the storytelling aspects into fine dining. “Every menu at Chapter tells consecutive stories about the culture and people of Vietnam. I’m not saying that it has never been done before but we are definitely the first in Vietnam to be known for specialising in this,” says chef Dung.

“Our focus is on northern Vietnamese flavours, rare indigenous ingredients and techniques. Locality and seasonality is a must when designing each menu at Chapter,” adds the Vietnamese chef. At Chapter Dining (chaptergrill.vn.), Chef Dung takes pride in the charcoal grilling technique.

"The menu we are creating is contemporary Viet-Thai. From Chapter, we use Vietnamese products and the flavours of Thailand. Thankfully our cuisine has so many similarities in terms of flavours, herbs usage and ingredients so it is quite straightforward to marry the two cuisines. Diners will expect an explosion of flavours each dish at the collab will celebrate the synergy of the two countrie's cuisines. I can’t reveal the menu for now because I'm still working on it everyday until the event but I can reveal that we plan to do an eight-course tasting menu that captures Le Du, Chapter, Nusara all the way," explains chef Dung.

Chef Ton will be serving five dishes. “Since I am returning to Hanoi after seven years, it’s time to represent Thai food in Hanoi. I will be serving a few signatures from the Michelin-starred Le Du and Nusara [ranked Asia’s No.3 in 2023]. Of course, we will also be using Vietnamese ingredients, but ingredients like curry pastes, seasonings and condiments will be carried from Bangkok,” adds the chef.

“Vietnam is known for its seafood, so I shall be using local seafood, vegetables and herbs. The culinary aspects of both countries isn’t vastly dissimilar so we can adjust,” adds chef Ton.

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