In Vietnam, it’s rude to leave food uneaten. But when the grub is so delicious, social etiquette has no threat from disrespect. Find out for yourselves at Honk, Pullman New Delhi Aerocity, that has worked out a Vietnamese Food and Art Festival that takes guests a tad closer to the land of the Blue Dragon.
It’s both chaotic and controlled at Honk. The rush swells on the weekends and scales down during the week but the pace at which Chefs Vo Thi Diem and Phuong Thanh Thao My work, remains consistent.
They’ve been specially flown from Sofitel Saigaon Plaza, Vietnam. “Vietnamese food is loved for its fresh, supple ingredients. Dairy is kept to the bare minimum.
"You won’t find oil being indiscriminately used. In every bite, you can identify each flavour and texture individually.
"That’s the strength of this cuisine and we wish for you to recognise it through this festival,” says Diem, sighting a few examples that stand as hallmarks of contemporary Vietnamese cuisine.
These are Pomelo Salad with Matsuba, Stewed Pork Spare Ribs with Pepper, Seabass with Lemongrass and Chili, Slow Cooked Chicken with Ginger, Sauteed Pokchoy with Shitake Mushroom, and Vietnamese Noodle Chicken Soup.
“Intercity exchanges such as the one the hotel has organised allows us, chefs, to get exposure to lands we may not otherwise easily visit. And because hotels have become the melting pot for cultural and regional diversity, it’s a convenient way to get familiarised,” says Thao My.
Influenced by the Wet Rice Civilisation, comprising natives who made the Red River delta their occupational zone, the cultivation of rice became prevalent. It also led to the genesis of a new food culture dominated by it.
Additionally, fish and some vegetables started to be grown and eaten as an accompaniment to rice. The other determining factors were the Chinese domination that lasted a thousand years and the French one that introduced the most about of ‘foreign’ elements of the indigenous food.
Despite its history of war, invasions and influence, Vietnam has been able to model a strong identity for itself. It’s art too, is a way of making ts context clear.
For that very purpose, the Artist Playground by Pullman, an area next to the restaurant, whets your creative appetite.
Organised by The Asian Art House, the works echo the essence of Vietnam. Artists Nguyen Tho Hieu, Van The, Le Hung, and Tran Ket have painted its landscape, ideology and people as it exists there.
Through inspirational paintings and hot plates, here’s a bit of Vietnam.
Till December 1, at Honk, Pullman New Delhi Aerocity. Art is on display all day and the food can be enjoyed 6:30 onwards.