[Miss Thu Restaurant] Miss Thu loves Saigon, she loves Tet. Miss Thu confided that she had traveled to many places and explored many regions, but no matter how interesting the journeys were, every New Year’s Eve, spring always made her feel fluttered and bewildered. She always missed her Saigon when the yellow apricot blossomed, the markets became crowded, and the children were overjoyed, waiting until Tet to put on their new dresses and receive the lucky money in red envelopes.
In this year of the Cat, following the Vietnamese zodiac, Miss Thu returned to her homeland to celebrate her first Tet, after many years of travelling overseas. The Spring season has always been very sentimental for her, and this time is even more special, Saigon seems to have a much different look from what she could remember. It’s called Ho Chi Minh City in the modern day, a city that is much more crowded with high-rise buildings, new roads, and new shophouses that she has never been to. Miss Thu finds herself a little quaint in the middle of Saigon, but deep inside, she also knows that she’s not the same person that she used to be. She is now a business owner, she even owns a restaurant named after her, where she has the freedom to be creative to satisfy diners.
So, what’s interesting about Tet in Miss Thu’s style?
Vietnamese ‘Ao Dai’ throughout the centuries
The Vietnamese Ao Dai has become the nation’s unique symbol to honour the beauty of Vietnamese women, but not everyone notices that even men also have a great love for this traditional robe. Ao Dai in Miss Thu’s subconscious mind has many shades. She adored those Ao Dai performed by singers on New Year’s Eve in Cho Lon. It is said that for a long time, people of Saigon – Cho Lon area used to come to listen to “Hát Tuồng” or “Hát Bội” with the belief that it would bring luck to them for the whole year.
The time has changed, now you can’t just watch “Hat Boi” anytime you like. Long Phung Theater, which is considered a “sanctuary” of Hat Boi, only plays one performance occasionally. Why did the old Saigon people like to watch Tuồng on Tet? Perhaps it is because of the pure beauty of the messages conveyed in each work based on the bold traditional fairy tales. Hat Boi is now just a beautiful memory of a lonely class of middled age people, or you can only get to watch them at the temples and pagodas on festivals or Tet as an act of “return to the source”.
Miss Thu always dreamed to wear such sparkling robes, like the way she found her way to “return to the source”. On this year’s Tet holiday, she contacted the tailors to design her unique pieces of traditional dresses for Tet. She also likes to collect more of the “Hat Boi” masks to satisfy her childhood wishes.
A Tet meal like-no-other
Every year when it’s Spring, Vietnamese people’s hearts overflow with mixed emotions. Everyone wants to return to reunite with their family, to gather with their loved ones during Tet meals, especially those who work far away. This is also the reason why the Tet meal has a special place in the mind of every Vietnamese person. A gathering on Tet is the most meaningful meal of the year, a place for us to turn to, and wish each other a year of success, wealth, and prosperity.
The modern rhythm of life has breathed new ideas for Tet to better suit the lifestyle of a younger generation of Vietnamese. Still a habit of spending time with family and loved ones, many people choose to spend a Spring holiday away from home or to enjoy various food and entertainment services available during Tet.
At Miss Thu Restaurant, French Chef Arnaud Daleau prepared a special set menu for the Tet period. The menu offers some great tastes from Vietnamese-inspired dining concepts including the traditional Spring Rolls, King Crab with Soba Noodles, Saigon Scallop, Bắp Xào Seabass, Argentinian Beef Tenderloin, Truffle Pomme Puree, Hoa Loc Mango Cheesecake and Red Berries Mousse.
Miss Thu Restaurant opens daily from 12:00-14:30 and 18:00-22:30. Tet Set Menu is served throughout the holiday period from 22 January – 29 January 2023. The menu starts from VND 1,200,000++ per person (USD 48-50 per person)