Nha Trang Vietnamese Canteen

Nha Trang Vietnamese Canteen by JJA / Bespoke Architecture

Nha Trang Vietnamese Canteen is a contemporary-yet-casual take on traditional Vietnamese street-food fare, served simply and honestly for a new generation of diners. The restaurant's design concept mirrors this contemporary take by giving a nod to Vietnam's street life, textures, and architectures- using as reference, the region's East-Meets-West historic design language borne out of French Colonial urbanism within town centres, utilising additional flare referenced from the rugged-yet-gilded decoration of the Indochine Style.

Because of the shop’s unique location, set centred within a  heavily trafficked shopping mall atrium, part of the planning brief was to create a branded outdoor seating area (OSA) within the mall's atrium space, placed adjacent to the typical restaurant's interior floor plan. This allows the design to reference Vietnam's old-colonial urban homes, which are generally found inside small streets, and using this as a way to create an indoor-outdoor garden zone for outside dining. A well defined entrance portal divides this garden space from the interior’s domestic oriented environment, bringing guests to a home-like atmosphere supported by Architectural window frames in stainless steel, low-wattage gold wall sconces, and mid-century modern concrete tiles for feature walls and some romantic flare. The restaurant's open kitchen is positioned in the centre of the plan, and can easily be appreciated by all diners sitting within the interior space. The design was executed in collaboration with RoanoakCo and Cedar and Moss for lighting, VG&P for chair fabrication, India Mahdavi for Bisazza for Feature tiles, and artist Elsa Jeandedieu for all antique wall renders. 

Nha Trang Vietnamese Canteen is an extension of the famous Nha Trang Vietnamese Cuisine restaurant brand in Hong Kong, which has been in operation for 15 years and has a portfolio of 12 Vietnamese restaurants total, all serving Southern Vietnamese street-food fare in a contemporary way, and headed by Executive Chef, Chef Helen Ngo who hails from Vietnam's Halong Bay.  The brand proudly specialises on its focus, serving delicious and quality Vietnamese dishes with passion and authenticity, in addition to its warm service offering within uniquely considered interior environments at family friendly price points.

The house's signature dish, the Bun Cha, brings flavourful pork patties to a chargrill, and placed on a bed of farm fresh vegetables with a helping of rice and vermicelli. Other dishes in the menu include a season shrimp paste grilled on sugarcane and covered with seasonal herbs, plus a classic chicken and rice dish, with chicken slow cooked in a stock infused with garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and pandan leaves and drizzled in scallion oil is served with pickles and a bed of fresh jasmine grains and washed down with a tall glass of the house's take on the Avocado Smoothie.

- January 2018 -


Project Name: Nha Trang Vietnamese Canteen

Architecture & Interior Design: James JJ Acuna of JJA / Bespoke Architecture

Date of Completion: September 2017

Location: Hong Kong

Area: Approx. 1900 sq.ft. (front of house + back of house)

Client: Nha Trang Catering Service Limited

Artist Collaborations: Elsa Jeandedieu Studio

Budget: 6 Million HKD (Inclusive of Front and Back of House)

Site Photography: Adam Kuehl