Residents of the Shuswap will soon be able to dine from a menu inspired by food served on the streets in northern Vietnam.
Hanoi 36 will open August in Salmon Arm on Hudson Street at the former Bradbury’s Restaurant location.
Michael Hai Manh Vu is the owner. His parents own restaurants in Winnipeg – this will be his first.
Manh Vus’ interest in Salmon Arm was inspired by its residents.
“What really drove me to actually look into Salmon Arm was an article about a group of people who would go around downtown and they would generate income for businesses, just helping out the community.”
Born in Hanoi, Manh Vu moved to Hong Kong when he was seven-years-old and stayed in Hong Kong for two years before immigrating to Canada. He trained at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts which introduced a slight French flare to his cooking by using butter and wine.
Aside from the occasional pan-fried steak being deglazed with red wine, Manh Vu sticks to his North Vietnamese roots which can differ greatly from the South Vietnamese style.
“Southern cuisine is more common here in North America – a lot of the dishes are more on the sweet side,” Manh Vu said. “Northern cuisine is much more like Chinese-style cooking where it is more flavourful and it is a bit more on the tastier side.”
The restaurants’ name, Hanoi 36, is a reference to the historical civic urban core of Hanoi. Divided into four quarters, the area used to be the residential, manufacturing and commercial centre, where each street was specialized in one specific type of manufacturing or commerce.
“In the old quarters you have all these streets and on these streets you have these little stalls and sometimes the street side vendors would specialize in a particular dish,” Manh Vu said. “These cuisines are brought by various people who have lived there for a long time or have immigrated from another province.”
Manh Vu aims to serve locally sourced produce at Hanoi 36.
“We do try to source from local suppliers rather than the big companies themselves, so we want to get all the ingredients fresh and support the local farmers and businesses,” he said.
Manh Vu plans to have the restaurant open August 1. In preparation, murals are being painted on the walls of the restaurant by two local artists, Roxi Hermsen and Rebecca Shepherd of RNR murals.