Vietnam’s First Michelin Guide Sparks Controversy in Street Food 

Welcome to Vietnam Untold! Today, we delve into the captivating update: Michelin guide in Vietnam face intense controversies especially in the street food.  

For the first time ever, Michelin has awarded stars and selections in Vietnam, creating a buzz with a total of 103 restaurants and eateries receiving Michelin Stars, Michelin Selections, and Bib Gourmand titles.

In Hanoi, you can find some of the Michelin-selected street food places, such as Bánh cuốn Bà Xuân, Phở bò Ấu Triệu, Phở gà Nguyệt, and Tuyết bún chả 34.

And in Saigon, Michelin has selected Cơm tấm Ba Ghiền, Phở Hòa Pasteur, bún thịt nướng Hoàng Văn, Ốc Đào, and Bà Cô Lốc Cốc. These are not only popular among locals but also a must-visit for foreign tourists seeking to explore the local street food scene.

However, the Michelin star ratings and recommendations have sparked a lot of controversies and doubts. One establishment in Hanoi, located at the Capella Hanoi hotel, houses three Michelin-recognized restaurants. These include Hibana by Koki, which received a Michelin star, and Backstage and Izakaya by Koki, which made it to the top Michelin Selections.

Some local diners have pointed out that several establishments on the list have only been open for six months. Moreover, there are concerns about some street food stalls mentioned in the Michelin Guide booklet not meeting hygiene standards.

Some popular Saigon street foods like Bánh Mỳ did not make it into the Michelin categories. It is speculated that Michelin might have been rushing to expand its Guide to Vietnam, leading to oversights and omissions.

On the other hand, Ms. Van Anh, the representative of Michelin Guide Vietnam, affirms that the Michelin star rating system has always been fair. The restaurants have been evaluated impartially based on five criteria: product quality, culinary skills, harmonious flavors, the chef’s personality reflected in the dishes, consistency of the dishes over time, and the overall menu.

Michelin stars have long been seen as an icon of the culinary industry, symbolizing strict evaluation criteria. Receiving a Michelin star not only confirms a restaurant’s position but is also a great honor for any restaurant owner.

After being selected by Michelin, some establishments have reported an increase in customers, particularly through online food delivery apps.

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