A post from Shahar Lubin, a good person I know in Hanoi 🙂 I agree with him so I would like to share this post to foodies or non-foodies around me.
I’ve been thinking of how to put this into words right, but I’m sorry this might still come off slightly as a rant. Please do read through anyway, I thank you.
The short is “you make the world around you”.
As foodies you make choices that affect your world. Where you choose to go eat, drink and tell people about, matters on whether those places would remain.
Hanoi has great food. Hanoian style, various other Vietnamese, some good Japanese, decent Italian, and a bit of other stuff. If you want more variety though you need to support it.
If you want there to be Polish food around, you need to make sure when there’s a Polish place around to go there and support it. If you do that then two things would happen. 1. It would stay there. 2. If successful, other places will open, leading to competition, and better food.
I speak of course as the owner and chef of a restaurant here, but also as a foodie myself. It seems there’s a false perception that we restaurant owners are somehow “fat cats”. The reality is that most of us are very much not that. We open restaurants, cook, host, make drinks, because we love it, because we want to make people happy. Money in this business is rarely the main reason people get into it. But we need to at least survive financially, for us to be able to stay open.
So what does that mean? Support places you like, support cuisines you want to see stick around, support people you like personally , and so forth. Not just places you love, but cuisines as well. For example a place does a certain cuisine, and is the only place in town do do that, even if it’s not perfect, support it, and it would encourage more to jump into that style.
Ok, but how?
A. Go there. Twice a year isn’t enough. You need to go there regularly. And not just for the obvious. Go to a Bulgarian place for a glass of wine. Go to your favorite crepe place for coffee. Have a shot at a friendly French restaurant. Order delivery. Go to breakfast at your favorite dinner place. Etc. Etc.
B. Review. Review. Review. People find where to go on-line more and more nowadays. TripAdvisor sucks. Its sucks hugely. Royally. Unbelievably so. And if you’ve lived here even for a short while, you don’t really use it. But new arrivals do, tourists do, and other publications and tv shows find places to highlight based on this. Review places you like, places you want to succeed. Review on TA, review on google, review on foody.vn and on LOZI, review on Facebook. And six months or a year later, review again. It helps.
C. And this doesn’t mean to be without criticism, this doesn’t mean you should accept anything and everything without a question. But, if a place doing a certain cuisine fail, no-one would invest in that again.
I am the owner of Daluva. We work hard and try and do something good. Do have always reach our high standards? Maybe not, but we try and fix problems, improve, and make people happy. After four years we are one of the only surviving restaurant in our neighborhood. Many have closed, changed, moved. Some of them maybe weren’t to your liking, but some might have been. I don’t know how longer we can survive, and I’m not sure about others in this city.
So shape your world foodies, you aren’t just observers.
He put his sould and his heart into his business. I admire not only his creatitiviy in creating food, his openness in sharing cooking knowledge with people, but also his dilligence in working.