A gigantic building in Duesseldorf Friedrichstadt. You can almost overlook a tiny joint called Huong Viet. But once you are inside, you will never forget it. A little Hanoi in the middle of Düsseldorf — authentic, cosy, delicious — is always radiant with hospitality from Nga Dao and two of her employees. An all-ladies team!
She has been running the place on since September 2013. Here she realized her long-time dream — to cook original Vietnamese food for the people. There is a story behind it: first was the location, then came the idea. She saw the place when she was driving by a car and it looked so authentic that she suddenly felt she should meet people there.
Nga Dao has been in the cooking business since 1998. She has cooked Thai and Chinese food as well — together with her husband and on her own.
«Cooking is my passion and Vietnamese cuisine is my love».
Huong Viet is a place where the Düsseldorfers are discovering real Vietnamese cuisine. What distinguishes her from the other local Vietnamese places? «I don’t cook how the customers want me to. My dishes are absolutely authentic and my guests even fly to Vietnam right after they visit my place».
Nga had established the place on her own — and it wasn’t easy. For example, small stools without a backrest, as in Vietnam, are hard to find. But now the place has become neat and comfy. The larger room (35m2) is frequently booked for social events and meetups. It can sit up to 30 persons.
What awaits the guests at Huong Viet? A friendly welcome, tasty food made by the chef herself and a lot of pleasure. The most important for Nga Dao is to make the guests enjoy each their visit here.
What next? Nga plans to start a series of cooking sessions, where she can teach others the secrets of Vietnamese cuisine and get to know more interesting people.
Text: Eugene ShapovalovPhotos: Eugene Shapovalov