Nostalgia in the kitchen

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Evoking a bygone age, the once ubiquitous clay cooking pot brings out the full flavor of food

The Chinese restaurant Dynasty in the New World Saigon Hotel offers ten tantalizing dishes cooked in the clay pot way from October 17 to November 13

Back when Vietnam was mostly an agrarian society, a clay pot over a wood or coal fire was the usual means of cooking meat, fish, rice and vegetables.

Clay cooking pots are still used today, albeit not as common as before, to make a delicious meal for the family or for nostalgic purposes.

An unglazed pot is used so that it can be soaked in water before cooking and thereby release steam once the heat is turned up.

This technique has a long history, stretching back at least to ancient Roman times, and is commonly found in several cuisines in Africa, Europe and Southeast and East Asia.

In Vietnam, a clay pot is the best way to braise or stew because it brings out the full flavor of the food. It also saves on energy as the pot retains heat well.

Meat or fish braised in a clay pot is fragrant, greasy, fatty and delicious.

Cooks who know their craft say a clay pot preserves the natural flavor and other qualities of the ingredients.

What's more, unglazed clay contains no lead, cadmium and or other harmful substances, so it's a healthy way to prepare food too.

In homage to this humble kitchen utensil, the Chinese restaurant Dynasty in the New World Saigon Hotel has come up with an interesting menu that includes delicious and eye-catching dishes prepared in a clay pot.

For lunch or dinner from October 17 to November 13, the restaurant's patrons can sample ten tantalizing dishes cooked in the clay pot way, under the watchful eye of top Hong Kong chef Ho Wing Sang.

Among these authentic Chinese dishes are tiger prawns with glass noodles and black pepper sauce, frogs' legs with bitter melon, and eel with pickled cabbages.

Every item on the clay pot menu is made with Chinese herbs to bring out the flavor and add a little extra to the taste.

Lunch at Dynasty on the first floor is available from 11:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. while dinner is served between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.

The restaurant has three semi-private and three private dining rooms and is suitable for business gatherings and family celebrations.

To experience an open, beautiful and elegant space designed in the Chinese style, and enjoy delicacies from a clay pot, head to the New World Saigon Hotel at 76 Le Lai Street, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.

Be sure to book a table in advance by calling (08) 3 822 8888 or email to

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