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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Akuna celebrates one MICHELIN Star – a recognition of Chef Sam Aisbett’s rule-breaking style, less than a year after its opening

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Just weeks before celebrating its first anniversary, Akuna in Ho Chi Minh City has been named as one of the top restaurants in the world.

On 27 June 2024, an icon in Vietnam’s fine dining landscape, Akuna at the Le Méridien Saigon has been awarded one MICHELIN Star at a live awards ceremony held on the evening. The anonymous MICHELIN Guide inspectors base their recommendations on the quality of ingredients, mastery of cooking, harmony of flavors, the chef’s personality in the cuisine, and consistency of excellence. These criteria, applied in more than 40 destinations around the world, guarantee a consistent and fair selection as well as a uniform and international standard of excellence.

One of only a handful of restaurants in the country to be recognized by the MICHELIN Guide, this is a celebrated accolade for multi-award-winning chef Sam Aisbett and the Akuna brigade. Opened in July 2023, Akuna is a reflection of Sam’s evolving artistry and years of culinary discovery across the world, with an intentional nod to the people and produce of Vietnam. Presenting his most ‘authentic cooking’ yet, Sam leans into his rule-breaking nature and actively decides against limiting the menus to the boundaries of a region or style. Instead, he draws inspiration from creative possibilities found in Vietnam’s culinary landscape, where guests can expect indigenous ingredients, local herbs and spices, rare flavors and nuances from his adoptive home — many of which find their way to a fine dining menu for the very first time.

Behind Sam and Akuna’s cuisine is an impressively diverse culinary team, including Chef de Cuisine Enrico Gross, as well as chefs with a wealth of experience from South Korea, Vietnam, Germany, and France. In addition, Desiderio Bevilaqua, chef Sam’s former GM at Whitegrass, manages operations at Akuna and together, they all contribute towards pushing and blurring the boundaries in the Akuna experience.

For Sam, the MICHELIN Guide’s recognition underscores the type of food that makes him truly happy, an incredible team, and a desire to break traditional boundaries to create great things. “We are beyond honored to be awarded one MICHELIN star – this recognition reaffirms the dedication and hard work of my team in delivering an exceptional dining experience for our guests, and a great motivation for us to continue bending the rules,” he shares.

Sam is no stranger to the MICHELIN Guide. Under his leadership, the modern Australian restaurant Whitegrass in Singapore earned two consecutive MICHELIN Star wins and a placement on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants list. After leaving Singapore in 2018, Sam spent time traveling around his homeland of Australia before taking time out in Vietnam, where the vibrancy of the country, its produce and its people reignited his appetite for cooking after a five-year hiatus.

Le Méridien Saigon, 3C Ton Duc Thang Street, District 1, Hochiminh City

Reservation: ​​https://akunarestaurant.com/reservations/

Website: ​​​http://akunarestaurant.com

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