Wednesday, 13 November 2013 07:31

The Last Call: Don Berger

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Don Berger



IT’S BEEN FOUR YEARS OF… Hanoi family, friends, support, effort and some amazing celebrations. I have started a whole new phase of my life and it just keeps getting better!


MY MONTRÉAL UPBRINGING HAS INFLUENCED… my love of cosmopolitan hospitality, music, art, food, wine and entertainment.


VIETNAM HAS TAUGHT ME... an appreciation for the Vietnamese values of family, education and industriousness, as well as the first traffic rule that I learned when I arrived in Hanoi: “Nothing behind you matters and yield to everything in front of you.”


LANDING ON ASIA’S 50 BEST RESTAURANTS 2013 WAS… a surprise and an unbelievable honour for my team, my family, my investors and also for Vietnam — which made the list for the first time. It put us on the map internationally, being recognised by a globally influential panel made up of more than 900 international restaurant industry leaders.


I DESCRIBE MY CUISINE AS… international, modern and comfort food.


EXECUTIVE CHEF NGUYEN VAN TU IS… my brother for over 14 years and has tremendous God-given talent as a culinary artist and team leader.


MY CURRENT FOOD OBSESSION IS… making sure our food is delicious, fresh and beautiful, but more and more healthy.


MY SUNSET DRINK OF CHOICE IS… a glass of wine.


THE VIEW FROM THE ROOF IS… enchanting. I refer to it as the Hanoi Riviera.


OUR MUSICAL SELECTION AIMS TO BE… adapted to the cycle of the week from gentle and restful on Sunday, all the way through to lively on Saturday with an ever changing selection of Vietnamese, pop, Latino, flamenco, jazz, reggae and light rock.


WHEN PEOPLE HAVE DOUBTED ME... I have persevered like the Taurus I am and ploughed through stubbornly and purposefully.


IN THE BEGINNING, I THOUGHT DON’S TAY HO COULD BE… the best restaurant in Tay Ho.


IN THE PAST FOUR YEARS, I’VE LEARNED… to value and enjoy the day at hand, and still prepare well for the many days and generations to come.


BECOMING A FATHER... is part of the single greatest thing I did — to marry my beautiful, sweet wife Thuy, and then to father our son Che Long Hai (as in Che Guevara and Long Hai, the Golden Dragon from the Sea). He has brought so much joy and luck to us all.


Don’s Tay Ho is at 16 Quang An, Tay Ho, Hanoi, and online at

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