Nhan’s Kitchen, a modest suburban, no-frills café, had only been open for a few months when it became TripAdvisor’s #1 Restaurant in Hoi An? In fact, it’s been in the Top 5 virtually ever since it opened. How has it had such phenomenal success against 800 or so cut-throat competitors?
Yes, the pricing is very keen. Consider some of these bargains: Tuna Salad 59,000 VND (2.55 USD); Noodles with chicken and vegetables 69,000 VND (3 USD); stir-fried beef 75,000 VND (3.25 USD), Beef Burger 75,000 VND (3.25 USD) and grilled red snapper 99,000 VND (4.25 USD). Fruit juices are around 25,000 VND (1 USD) and large bottles of beer go for just 15,000 VND (0.65 USD)! Little wonder many camp here for half a day.
The menu is about 35% pizza and pasta, 30% other Western and 35% Vietnamese. This seems to be a winning formula, it suits groups with different tastes, but it’s not too different from many others.
In Hoi An it’s common for the cheaper restaurants to have huge pizza sections. These orders are sub-contracted to third parties.
Nhan’s Kitchen make their own however, and they’re surprisingly good; quite possibly the best pizza value-for-money in town. Try the Four Cheeses Pizza on for size at just 90,000 VND (3.90 USD)!
Personality – The Hosts
But what is it? All this is great but how can a fast food cafe sweep all before it. Why is Nhan’s Kitchen always so high on TA?
A huge factor is that Nhan and his wife Rebecca (Thi) have great English and are customer-service champions. This, more than any thing else is the key to their success.
Orders are taken efficiently (and double checked) and meals are served promptly but somehow, Nhan and Rebecca seem to have all the time in the world to discuss the food, suggest variations and come up with concepts not on the menu. And, while Nhan’s Kitchen is often bursting to capacity at peak times, its genial hosts take it all in their stride rustling up extra tables when they need to.
Everyone is warmly welcomed, warmly farewelled and treated as a friend.
The Wash-up. Why #1?
Nhan’s Kitchen serves Italian-style food, sandwiches and burgers alongside Vietnamese standards very, very cheaply. Locals eat here alongside tourists and expats. Everything is very fresh and within the cheap-eat genre it’s hard to argue with the #1 rating. To claim it as the best restaurant in Hoi An says more about the vagaries of TA than it does about anything else.
But it’s the super care of every single customer – even free home delivery if you’re in the area – that keeps punters returning again and again. And Nhan and Rebecca are very flexible customizing dishes with aplomb for Vegans and those with allergies or little pet hates. There are hundreds of little touches. If you don’t like the fact that tomato turns up in just about every dish, don’t worry, Nhan will have a solution, even for pizza!
Updated March 2019