When it comes to cooking, nothing is as sacrosanct as a home-cooked meal. That’s why The Anam has recruited a half-dozen mothers of its staff to serve up an authentic slice of Vietnamese culture every Wednesday and Sunday evening.
Drawing on centuries-old recipes handed down the generations, the mother cooks serve up timeless Vietnamese classics, as if they were cooking for their own families. The dishes include bò nướng lá lốt (grilled beef in betel leaf), bún bò Huế (Hue-style beef noodle soup) and bánh xèo (crispy Vietnamese pancake), and are complemented by plenty of fresh, zesty salads and other treats.
“These women didn’t train as cooks,” said The Anam’s founder and owner Pham Van Hien. “They didn’t go to culinary school, and carry no fancy titles. But oh how they can cook. This is how we Vietnamese eat day to day, and we’re thrilled to share this very same taste with our guests.”
Donning iconic conical hats instead of toques, the mothers include Nguyen Thi Phuong, Nguyen Thi Nhiem and Vo Thi Xuan Huu (whose children are employed full time by the resort as front office shift leaders and in engineering administration). These mothers plate up fresh, healthy and delectable Vietnamese fare at cooking stations by the terrace of the resort’s all-day dining restaurant the Indochine, to a backdrop of one of the resort’s three swimming pools and Long Beach’s white sands and turquoise waters beyond.
Mama’s Cooking serves as a complement to the resort’s daily Vietnamese fare, differing by degrees of authenticity. Most Asian resorts that feature local items do make concessions to the foreign palate. Mama’s Cooking does not.
“It doesn’t get any more authentic than this,” said Hien.
The launch of Mama’s Cooking coincides with the opening of the resort’s Indochine Grill that specialises in European fine dining with a strong focus on classical French cuisine. The Indochine Grill also offers a world-class wine selection. A pianist on a baby grand piano who performs a selection of traditional pop and jazz tunes nightly.
The colonial-inspired 12-hectare Anam, that celebrated its grand opening late April this year, boasts a total of three restaurants and two bars, as well as a sublime 10 treatment-room spa, 3D movie theatre, water sports centre, kids’ club, ballroom, conference facilities, gym, tennis court, yoga room and deck, and more.