#TeamBride

Natalie and Kris were the first couple that chose Heron House to be their home for their wedding weekend back in July. We were honored to host Natalie and her bridesmaids on the nights leading up to the wedding and then the newly wed couple on their wedding night. It was such a pleasure to be able to witness so much love and friendship at Heron House that day. The bridesmaids and family were coming from all over the world to our little town of Hoi An to be with Natalie on her special day.

Thank you Aaron Joel Santos and the team at Hoi An Events for the amazing photos.

We look forward to welcoming Kris and Natalie back to Heron House in the near future!

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Aubergine49 – Hoi An’s Best Kept Secret

For us personally, Aubergine49 is the answer to everything.

“Where should we go for the upcoming anniversary/birthday?” – “Aubergine49”

“What’s the one restaurant that you can eat everyday at?” – “Aubergine49”

“Which restaurant would you recommend to all friends when visiting Hoi An?” – “Aubergine 49”

“What would be the last restaurant you go to if you were going to die tomorrow?” – “Aubergine49”

And it is so true, Aubergine49 is our go-to place for any major celebrations, having friends in town, recommending to guests for a nice treat, or even just for a ‘we haven’t been to Aubergine for a few weeks, let’s go’ kind of day. We love Aubergine not only for its consistency in producing a fine-dining experience, the amazing quality of food that you can only find at Michelin-rated restaurants in Europe, the attention to details in every little thing, and of course, the kindness and passion of the man behind it all: Chef Thinh.

You probably hear us talking about ‘our friend who owns this restaurant,’ ‘our friend who runs this bar’ all the times and wonder if we only select F&B people to befriend. The truth is that we love food so much that if we like a restaurant, we would go there so often that before we know it, we have become friends with the owner/chef. The same case went for Aubergine49. I always called to book directly with chef Thinh (a friend of a friend), and after the 5th or 6th time dining there, the mysterious chef came out when the kitchen closed to say hi and we all found ourselves talking passionately about food and life and everything in between for hours until all the lights on the street have disappeared.

After ten years honing his culinary skills under some of the world’s leading chefs such as Paul Gayler of London’s The Lanesborough Hotel, Rick Stein of Padstow’s ‘The Seafood’ Restaurant and Seiji Yamamoto of Nihonryori Ryugin (a three Michelin starred restaurant in Tokyo), local son and chef Nguyen Nhu Thinh has returned home to create a fresh new venue with global flavors. Like many of his mentors from two-star and three-star Michelin restaurants in London and Tokyo, Chef Thinh is a perfectionist when it comes to cooking and it truly shows in the consistency, quality and attention to details in each dish. We have never tasted anything that we did not go ‘Whoa’ at Aubergine. And to top that, every time we get so familiar with all of the food on the menu, Thinh changes everything up and introduces his new creations (which is rare in Hoi An as most restaurants cater only to tourists and thus never change their menu). As good friends with Thinh and his lovely girlfriend Kate, we are also lucky to enjoy the luxury of getting surprise dishes off menu, and oh my, aren’t they all great. To be honest, if I can trade one of my kidneys for his cooking talent, I would!

No words could describe Aubergine49 as vividly as the experience of dining there yourself. Our guests are always happy with the recommendations as they say they get the best meal at a fraction of the price they would pay back home in Europe. So here it is, Aubergine49 – our favorite restaurant in Hoi An and we hope you would enjoy it as much as we do too.

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Our First Summer BBQ

During our time living in Hanoi, some of our best summer weekends were spent BBQ-ing with our friends at our rooftop apartment. We would shift from swimming in our rooftop pool, eating bellini popsicles, to sitting around the little balcony waiting for Loic’s famous yogurt chicken and Greek burger, and eventually moving inside for some drinking games or random Youtube session. With such great memories, we decided to invest in a nice BBQ the moment summer began. What is summer without nice pool BBQ parties after all, right?

Loic chose a custom-made Texan BBQ from a company in Saigon, and as you can guess from the name, it is huge! The BBQ also doubles as a smoker, which makes us immediately dream of smoked salmon and smoked sausages and smoked everything. We were so eager to try out the big boy that the moment we met David and his family who were hugely into food and having a good time, we had to ask if they would like to let us test out the BBQ and prepare them a special meal.

You can tell Loic was dying to get back on track with his passion of cooking the moment he started brainstorming the menu. After going through what we could pick up at the local market and big supermarket in Danang, we settled on pita with hummus and tzaziki to start, continuing with Loic’s famous watermelon haloumi with tahini honey walnut sauce, and finishing with a grand finale of big coconut-smoked platter: beef tenderloin, red snappers, potato with sour cream, and fresh vegetables from the organic garden (more recipes to come on the blog soon!).

The whole meal was such a big hit, and the conversations that carried on the night were even better. There was so much laughter around the table. David, Arlene, Mel and Alex were another group of guests that turned into our friends. We were even invited to visit their beautiful Airbnb castle near London (yes, we have friends who own a castle!). This new adventure has certainly taken us to places that we never thought of before.

Thank you everyone for such a good night and we hope to see you again in the near future!

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