John Kis came to Vietnam on a posting for Engineers Without Borders 5 years ago. A selfish desire for poached eggs on sourdough rye led him to create The Hanoi Social Club in 2011. Part cafe, part intimate music venue, The Hanoi Social Club has hosted over 30 music acts from all over the world.

 

Event I’m really excited about: The upcoming Songs of Bob Dylan night at The Hanoi Social Club on Jun. 13. Ahh, that twanging guitar...

 

Best night out last month: Catching up with old friends for dinner at funky Ray Quan.

 

Best meal from last month: I discovered a new thing called bo bia ngot — a roll of shredded coconut, black sesame and malted sugar. So simple, yet so delicious! (Yes, it's on the menu at the Social Club now!)

 

Thing I posted on Facebook that got the most likes: A photo showing a really nice community street scene near my house in Truc Bach (121 likes).

 

Funniest YouTube clip of the month: Stand-up comedian Stewart Lee deftly mocking sexist conservatives.

 

Song I can’t get out of my head: Tree by the River by Iron and Wine. Nature, love, reminiscence sounds.

 

I wish this band would come to town: Laura Marling.

 

How is the Hanoi restaurant scene going? Healthy ingredients like chia seeds, hibiscus and quinoa are readily available in Hanoi, yet no international restaurants seem to be taking advantage of these interesting foods.

 

The best secret in town is: The improvised community-jam music sessions in the garden at the Social Club.

 

Where I go when I go out on my own: A bicycle ride around West Lake.

 

If my older-yet-still-cool mum came to town, I would take her to: Watch local folk music goddess Le Cat Trong Ly.

The Word

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