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By Minh San
The first thing customers see when entering a Hang Duong restaurant in Vietnam are photos of strange, humongous fish. These beasties are the size of the “River Monsters” as seen on Animal Planet channel in England.
According to Ly Nhat Hieu, owner of the Hang Duong seafood restaurant chain, his hobby of hunting giant fish comes from his passion for culinary delicacies and a nostalgia for his childhood in the Mekong Delta.
“The locals used to catch giant barb fish weighing hundreds of kilogram or giant catfish swimming from the upper reaches of the Mekong River down to the estuary of the Tien and Hau rivers several times per year. Today it is considered lucky to catch them once in a couple of years,” explains Hieu. When he was a child, it was his dream to cook and enjoy rare fish. That’s why he launched a restaurant chain with unique types of seafood in Saigon.
Beside rare ingredients, the secret recipes are the “soul of the food” at a Hang Duong restaurant. Flavourful, fresh-from-the-sea dishes are enjoyed while guests listen to the owner’s stories – an unforgettable experience.
Hieu designed and decorated all the restaurants in the chain. Every location has a distinctive decor that connects with the location and provides customers with a good dining experience.
“Buying a giant fish is sometimes not as simple as you might expect. There are interesting stories that occur. I like to share them with my customers so that they understand and appreciate the gifts of nature,” explains Hieu.