Vietnamese Foodies Restaurant in JLT offers authentic Vietnamese cuisines lovingly prepared by a team of Vietnamese food enthusiasts. Founder and Executive Chef Lily Hoa Nguyen has been a culinary instructor for the last 4 years before opening her own restaurant in JLT, Dubai.
What or who is the inspiration behind your start-up?
I grew up in Ho Chi Minh City – the city that was ranked 4th worldwide in culinary variety. Delicious, fresh food is abundant everywhere at an affordable price – that’s exactly what’s missing in Dubai and that’s what I aspire to bring here.
Tell us why your business is the “best thing since sliced bread
There are not many other cuisines around the world where there is such an abundant of texture and balance of flavors, all the while making you feeling good afterwards. Authentic Vietnamese cooking is all that – healthy and delicious. And we make it accessible to everyone in Dubai.
What is your favourite dish on the menu and why?
Of course it’s our Pho with broth lovingly cooked for 6 to 14 hours from beef marrow bones and chicken bones with all the traditional herbs and spices, rice noodles that are just tender not soggy and juicy beef tenderloin or shredded chicken thigh. It’s healthy, filing and a good meal for anytime of the day.
What (lessons) have you learnt along the way that you would like to share with other foodpreneurs?
Many would think owning and running a restaurant business is Dubai something out of reach for a chef without any financial back-up from the big corporates. While it is true that cost of business is incredibly high and the complexity of setting up your own company plus adhering to the myriad of Food Safety, Health & Hygiene rules and regulations is daunting, I have found out that hard work, diligent planning and hands-on execution will most definitely make your dream a reality.
While there are so many business consultants and personal development gurus out there that will do a better job than I ever could in showing you how you could make your dream a reality.
I thought I’d note down here some of my key learnings in this incredible journey, hoping it could be of use to someone somewhere. And if you ever have any question, do feel free to send me a message and ask. I promise I do not – and will not – charge you for it.
Learning 1: Find Your Silver Bullet. Look for the market niche, the specific offer, the unique product…that only you, or only you and a few others, can offer in a specific market that has abundant paying customers.
Learning 2: Plan It, Review It, and Plan It Again. It is incredibly important that each and every step should be listed out with all the relevant details, deadlines, and a Plan-B action. Review your project every week and decide whether it is still realistic or you need to change some aspects of it to make it feasible, and most importantly, moving forward.
Learning 3: Get Your Hands Dirty. Own each and every item on your task list. Be pushy when necessary. Clarify your information with different people. See it through til the end. You can move mountains if you have the right lever.
Lake Level, Lake Terrace Tower, cluster D, JLT
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
[Images suppled by Vietnamese Foodies & Debbie Rogers]