The Vietnamese-Australian chef, who expands his restaurant empire with the opening of Moi Moi in Hong Kong, shares the ingredients and tools he finds most important in his life.

Photo courtesy of Luke Nguyen

Having just made his Hong Kong debut with Moi Moi, the Vietnamese-Australian celebrity chef is now focusing his sights on Ho Chi Minh City, where he plans to open three new restaurants this year. Here, he reveals five of his favourite things.

1. Wagyu pho is my favourite dish on Moi Moi’s menu. The broth is simmered for 16 hours, extracting all the goodness out of the beef bones, ox tail, herbs, spices and chargrilled vegetables. It’s such a labour of love.

2. As a chef, I can’t live without a good heavy stone mortar and pestle to make all of my pastes for marinades and sauces, and my versatile cleaver. 

3. The one ingredient I always use is fish sauce. It’s no ordinary fish sauce, though; it’s the best in the world, as it comes from Phu Quoc Island in southern Vietnam. Like a good butter is important to French cooking and a good extra virgin olive oil is vital to Italian cooking, a premium fish sauce is key to Vietnamese cuisine.

4. My secret to unwinding after a hard day’s work is a well-made negroni. Always does the trick.

5. My favourite getaway is Danang in central Vietnam. The region has everything—beaches, jungles, mountains, rice fields, luxurious hotels, friendly locals and, of course, fantastic food.

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