Skylight Nha Trang’s Signature Restaurant
Now firmly established as one of the most daring restaurants in the city, Chef’s Club is taking cuisine in new directions as an original concept designed to bring culinary artists together. While actual Chef Clubs exist all over the world as a place outside of work where they can get together to discuss ideas and trends in the industry, this concept involves regularly inviting guest chefs to take over the restaurant and put their stamp on the menu. Whether it be for a day or a week, they come to share their collective experience with each other. This is a veritable club of creative culinaries who are pushing the boundaries to provide an evolving experience to diners.
While the core menu was conceived by celebrity chef, Michael Bao, it is merely a base to work from, and the team is busy each week coming up with new ways to innovate and impress. “When tourists visit Vietnam, they want to try local cuisine rather than their home comfort foods, said Mauritian Head Chef, Subashing Seevaruth. “So, we’ve come up with a Pan-Asian menu that uses locally sourced, fresh ingredients and fuses them with classic international influences”, he said. While the cooking techniques are elaborate, and the dishes notable for their complexity and presentation, this is not traditional high-end dining. “What we are trying to offer is 5-star food that is very affordable, and enjoyed in a casual setting that is completely relaxed. We don’t believe in formal dining etiquette here at Chef’s Club – great food should be enjoyed by everyone”, he added.
Constantly changing a menu can be a risky business, but when done correctly, the advantages are plentiful. The chefs are constantly encouraged to innovate and never rest on their laurels. This creative freedom keeps motivation high as they seek to come up with new takes on traditional food, and experiment with new ingredients and cooking methods each week. “We challenge the chefs to create ‘Daily Specials’ using whatever ingredients are on hand”, Sunbash explained. “It makes them think outside the box and develop their own style of cooking, which you don’t get in a traditional kitchen setting. It is the customer who benefits the most as it means one never knows what to expect”.
Michelin awarded chef, Andy Yang, recently flew in to take over the kitchen, wowing diners with an original ‘Thai inspired’ fusion menu that was available for just one weekend. The restaurant also teams up local influencers in various industries to create weekly and one-off dining experiences. From hosting charity dinners that bring together the local community through dining, to French themed ‘wine pairing evenings by renowned wine experts, the management is open to any idea that will keep the experience fresh for its diners. Art and culture is also represented with the ‘Sip and Paint’ evenings. Anyone can come and learn to paint a vivid watercolor with artist, Sasha Fishler, and ample inspiration is provided by the illuminated city that sprawls below the panoramic Skydeck.
The focus on training the next generation of Master Chef’s is high on the agenda, and one of the main purposes of Chef’s Club is to offer world-class training to its team of local cooks. Pham Dam Sinh, 27, is the restaurant’s ‘demi-chef’, and he explained his delight at being able to hone his skills under the tutelage of such experienced professionals. “I previously worked in local Vietnamese restaurants, but here, I have learned what it means to be in a professional kitchen. I’ve become so much more efficient and effective at my work and am exposed to so many new and exciting cooking styles and techniques, he revealed. “In the beginning, I was a little in awe of working with such famous mentors, but they’ve created a real family atmosphere and encouraged us to become the best we can be”.
These sentiments were echoed by Tran Thi Hong Phuong, who is in charge of entrees at the restaurant. Recently voted Star of the Month, she credits her improvement to the team she works with. “I guess the best skill I’ve learned here is the importance of aesthetics in decorating and presenting a dish. Every ingredient has equal importance, and laying out a plate is an both an art and a science”, she mused. “ I want to keep working hard so that I can move through the ranks and become an expert chef, and i feel there is no better place for me to achieve this goal than here at Chef’s Club. I get to learn from the best of the best, and everyone pushes each other to succeed”.
Besides the food, Chef’s Club’s location on the 43rd of the Havan Best Western Hotel prides itself of being the highest restaurant in the city, and the 360°views offer an unrivalled panorama as the sun sets .A perfect place for a romantic, group celebration or casual meal, the internal garden setting and outdoor al fresco terrace are unique in both concept and decor. Once the meal is complete, move to the famous rooftop beach bar and enjoy original cocktails from its team of mixologists, and party the night away to tunes from international DJ’s looking out over Nha Trang Bay.