Situated in the beachfront paradise that is Cam Rahn, is a brand new resort that has all the bells and whistles of a five-star resort plus an extra ingredient — a home-cooked meal prepared with a mother’s touch.
Twice a week, guests staying at The Anam can make their way down to Lang Viet Restaurant and Bar for a taste of authentic Vietnamese fare completely prepared by five mothers of actual staff members working at the resort.
Dubbed ‘Mammas Cooking’, the concept was the creation of The Anam’s General Manager Herbert Laubichler-Pichler, who wanted to introduce guests to an authentic Vietnamese experience right onsite.
“Most Asian resorts that feature local items make concessions to the foreign palate, so I thought that it would be great to be able to share how the Vietnamese truly eat day-to-day with our guests,” Herbert said.
“After being so kindly welcomed into the homes of locals and trying such incredible home-cooked meals, I asked our staff if their mothers would be willing to cook for our guests, as if they were cooking for their own families, on a regular basis.”
Herbert said that when he first introduced the Mama’s Cooking concept, some of the staff had a few reservations about the idea.
“But my mum can’t cook for the international guests, she only cooks for locals!” they would tell him.
“Vietnamese people can be so shy and humble and not aware of the magnetism and power of their culture so I had to build their confidence and really emphasise that this would be an amazing experience for our guests,” he explained.
Today, Mamma’s Cooking is an institution at the resort. And it’s not hard to see why.
On the menu are Vietnamese classics such as grilled beef in betel leaf, Hue-style beef noodle soup and crispy Vietnamese pancake. The recipes are centuries old and handed down the generations.
What makes the concept unique is that the mothers did not train as cooks, nor did they attend culinary school, or carry fancy titles. In fact, the mothers are instructed to simply re-create the same dishes that they would serve their own families at home.
“I love all of the Mama’s dishes, but if I had to choose a favourite, it would have to be Bahn Xeo, the crispy, savoury Vietnamese pancakes.”
“Banh Xeo means ‘sizzling cake’, referring to the sound the pancake batter makes when it is added to the hot pan.”
The mothers include Nguyen Thi Phuong, Nguyen Thi Nhiem and Vo Thi Xuan Huu – whose children are actually employed full time by the resort as front office shift leaders and in engineering administration.
- The Anam is a five-star resort overlooking 300 metres of beachfront on Vietnam’s Cam Ranh Peninsula
- It boasts 117 villas and 96 rooms and suites
- The resort is one of only six recognised by Worldhotels as ‘World Luxury’
- Cam Ranh International Airport is located just 20 minutes away by car
- Onsite amenities include a tennis court and yoga room, three swimming pools, a luxury spa, a 3D movie theatre as well as a fine dining grill, a sports bar and a beach club