Nguyen Le Minh Nhut says he spent three months perfecting his fries and one month on the sauces. Photo courtesy of Minh Nhut
Quentin Moreau Defarges is not sure if Belgians or his French fellow-countrymen invented the world-renowned French fries.
But he knows what perfect fries should taste like and, more importantly, where to find them in Vietnam.
Recently, Defarges, who works at a mobile games company, has made himself a regular customer at Mr. Potato, a new fast food chain in Ho Chi Minh City,
"The restaurant serves the best fresh fries which are good for snacking yet still feed me well," said Defarges, who was first introduced to Mr. Potato by his Vietnamese-French friends.
Now he's bringing his own friends to the small restaurant on Le Lai Street in District 1 every weekend, where he often orders various kinds of hand-cut fries, served with different sauces.
There are more than 20 sauce options to choose from here. Pizza, hamburger and spaghetti can be ordered as side dishes.
Almost everything is yellow at Mr. Potato. The chain’s quirky decorations are inspired by iconic buildings from around the world.
A combo of mixed French fries at Mr. Potato
Nguyen Le Minh Nhut, owner of the chain, said he tries to make it stand out from other competitors in the fast food industry, but not in a confrontational way.
It took Nhut, a 25-year-old graduate from RMIT Vietnam, several months to study the market. He even built a small potato research lab to come up with the right fries and sauces to put on his menu.
“To tell the truth, I’m not a fan of French fries in general,” he said.
"But I think that's an advantage because I’m not biased to what I'm selling. I can be open to criticism and advice to always improve our service and food quality.”
The third restaurant in the city was opened last December in Hung Vuong Square, District 5.