GRAIN Cooking Studio

GRAIN Cooking Studio

No spring rolls

More on Ho Chi Minh City

Sleek and smart, GRAIN by Vietnamese-Australian chef, author and TV host Luke Nguyen is a cooking class for people unafraid to dive into the flavours of Vietnamese cuisine.

Travelfish says:

While you don’t need to be a professional, the beautiful cooking studio and sophisticated dishes will make you feel like you are.

A desk we’d happily be chained to. : Cindy Fan.
A desk we’d happily be chained to. Photo: Cindy Fan

The cooking class covers fishsauce and the basic nuoc cham dressing, the cornerstone of Vietnamese food, as well as three dishes. There are two possible menus on any given day (and we were told a third will be introduced in 2017) and they feature both traditional dishes and traditional with a modern twist. We appreciate that it doesn’t shy away from interesting ingredients or dishes that require more complicated techniques, a stark contrast to the countless number of cooking classes that always include boring spring rolls.

Each participant has their own station set up to the tee. Much of the prep has been done in advance, with you picking up pre-cut ingredients at the “market”, a kitschy but kind of cute experience. Rest assured, it remains a hands on experience as there’s deep frying, chopping, mixing, stuffing and plating. You don’t need to be an expert, but you should have at least picked up a knife before.

Best thing is you get to eat it. : Cindy Fan.
Best thing is you get to eat it. Photo: Cindy Fan

The flow of the class is well organised and orchestrated, thought out in great detail and at the end of it all, really delicious and satisfying.

GRAIN is located in the heart of downtown, on Hai Ba Trung in District 1, 200 m from Saigon Opera House. Classes run Monday to Saturday, two sessions a day: 09:00-12:00 or 14:00-17:00. Reserve a spot through their website or by calling. The public classes are usually run in their small studio, though there is also an enormous studio that can accommodate large tour groups. In case you’re wondering, Luke Nguyen is very much involved in the business. In August 2017, his latest restaurant Vietnam House opened just around the corner on Dong Khoi St.

Contact details for GRAIN Cooking Studio

Address: Level 3 71-75 Hai Ba Trung, District 1
T: (028) 3827 4929 ;  
cooking@grainbyluke.com
http://www.grainbyluke.com/
Coordinates (for GPS): 106º42'16.75" E, 10º46'36.92" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps

Reviewed by

Cindy Fan is a Canadian writer/photographer and author of So Many Miles, a website that chronicles the love of adventure, food and culture. After falling in love with sticky rice and Mekong sunsets, in 2011 she uprooted her life in Toronto to live la vida Laos. She’s travelled to over 40 countries and harbours a deep affection for Africa and Southeast Asia. In between jaunts around the world, she calls Laos and Vietnam home where you'll find her traipsing through rice paddies, standing beside broken-down buses and in villages laughing with the locals.

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