Chef’s Club represents a bold idea: a space in which a revolving troupe of culinary artists take over the kitchen to wow diners with an ever-changing menu. For this reason, it can’t be defined as a simple restaurant – it’s an ongoing, evolving event that aims to reinvent the dining experience.
Pushing boundaries and constantly innovating is the ‘modus operandi’ at Skylight Nha Trang. Over the course of the last eighteen months, the venue has been rolling out new areas and features, and has now launched its signature restaurant, “Chef’s Club” – the highest restaurant in the city. While already famous as the place to visit in the afternoon to take in an unrivaled panorama of the entire city from the 360˚ Skydeck, or to party the night away in its raucous Rooftop Beach Bar, Chef’s Club now bridges the gap between the two.
Created by Michelin awarded chef, Michael Bao, Chef’s Club has presented a concept like no other in Vietnam. Michael, who hails from New York, has a long and illustrious career as a celebrity chef and serial restaurateur, holding an enviable list of distinguished accolades including ‘New York’s Best Chef 2003’ and ‘Iron Chef Vietnam 2013’. He even partnered with iconic actor, Robert De Niro, to launch the famous New York eatery, Mai House.
So what makes Chef’s Club different? Firstly, its location on the 43rd floor is a striking setting for ‘foodies’ of all types. Whether you have just returned from the beach and seek a casual meal, wish to bring a date or loved one for some intimate dining or are a group of friends celebrating an event, you will find your needs well met here. The decor has been carefully designed to represent a rooftop garden greenhouse. Large snaking tendrils completely cover the high columns, accentuated by flowers, trees and garden plants hanging in multiple levels from the rafters, providing a tropical beach ambience. An open internal space has seating for approximately seventy people while the external Pool Deck offers an ‘al fresco’ experience for another thirty or so guests. Here, one can enjoy looking over the entire city, with spectacular evening views of the sunset over the western mountain range that skirts the province.
The name Chef’s Club was chosen specifically because it never aims to stand still or rest on its laurels. Using Michael Bao’s network of skilled industry colleagues, both in Vietnam and internationally, it plans to bring in regular ‘featured chefs’ to host monthly dining events. The idea is to create something dynamic that will keep you guessing, ensuring the experience never becomes monotonous or stale. A menu that is subject to constant change and innovation from different culinary legends means that you should never know what to expect once you walk through the doors. Added to this, is a set of employees who are bubbly and personable, taking care to ensure guests feel at ease and relaxed. Overseen and trained by Becca Fields from Hong Kong, these service principles fit well in a tourist centered venue, and marry the natural, smiling hospitality of the Vietnamese with the multi-cultural influences and enthusiasm of the Los Angeles food scene – where the Skylight founders grew up.
The central portion contains an open kitchen where diners can view the multi-cultural team of chefs at work amongst the flash of searing pans. The Resident Chef is Mauritian culinarian, Subashing Seevaruth, and he has under his tutelage, 3 local chefs eagerly honing their skills. There is something particularly satisfying about watching one’s food being prepared as it creates a personal touch, and this one of the core features of the entire Skylight concept. From the cocktail mixologists across at the Beach Bar to the cooks in the restaurant, the staff is at the center of the guest experience and the main ambassador of the Skylight brand.
Michael has prepared an original, signature menu designed to blend International and pan-Asian influences, sourcing sustainable, local ingredients that emphasize the longstanding seafood traditions of Nha Trang. Notable dishes include a bubbly cauliflower soup starter topped with bay scallops, entrees of smoked sailfish or zesty beef salad in pineapple, while the mains are a smorgasbord of ‘East meets West’ fusions, and western influenced creations stemming from Mr. Bao’s vast experience in global cuisine. Share plates for couples and 5-course family sets cater to the group diners, so you can drop in for a quick snack or a full evening meal.
Of course, you can also drink in high company, as Skylight is synonymous with exceptionally crafted and original cocktails developed by famous mixologists along with paired wines of international repute. The restaurant is currently open from 4:30-10pm daily, but there are plans to offer breakfast and lunch in the near future. While the menu is, as one may expect from its creator, sophisticated and refined, the prices are more than reasonable and accessible to all budgets. This is easygoing, relaxed dining in a rooftop garden where contemporary chic and beach casual combine flawlessly, and it is reflected in the affordable costs that certainly won’t put a dent in your wallet.
The Discover Nha Trang team has been able to experience and report on some of the very best and most original restaurants in Nha Trang, all of them ‘must visit’ establishments in their own right. Chef’s Club at Skylight is right up there with the very best on offer in Vietnam, providing an intriguingly different option to ‘foodies’ on the hunt for something special and original.
This Independence Weekend, Chef’s Club has flown in Celebrity Chef Andy Yang. He has created a signature Thai inspired menu just for this weekend. Make sure to check it out for yourself and dine in the highest restaurant in the city!