30/05/2016 09:31 GMT+7 print

An Israeli Man Who Loves Vietnamese Cuisine

Many local people living on To Ngoc Van Street in Tay Ho District have come to know Shahar Lubin, a smiling chef with blond hair who loves talking to them about Vietnamese food.

Shahar Lubin  is now the owner and chef of Daluwa restaurant and bar, the first and only “Middle Eastern gastropub” in Hanoi. His Daluwa  is a favourite address of many foreigners  as food is prepared in the way that mix both Vietnamese and Israeli tastes.

He said that his love for Vietnamese food motivated him to come to Hanoi  and he is determined to stay in this city. “Before coming to Vietnam, I worked for several years in the US and spent some years travelling all around the world. I got to know about Vietnamese culture in the US. I love Vietnamese food. When I first came to Hanoi in 2009, I loved this city at first sight. I decided I would have to try to move and live in this city,” he confided.

Shahar Lubin, owner and chef of Daluwa Restaurant. 

Shahar Lubin and Israel Ambassador to Vietnam Meirav Eilon Shahar
introduce their countries’ dishes cooked from Vietnamese ingredients. 

Menu of Daluwa Restaurant at the Vietnam-Israel Gastronomy Friendship Week
has many Vietnamese dishes as Pho cuon and Bun cha. 

Daluwa is a favourite restaurant of foreigners.  

The event honours the friendship between the two countries. 

Shahar Lubin felt in love with Vietnamese cuisine so he arrived in Hanoi and opened his restaurant. 

Shahar Lubin often combines Israeli spices and Vietnamese vegetables and herbs to make special dishes. 

A salad made from wheat flour and Vietnamese vegetables. 

 Fried soya curd with Israeli flavour.

Pho cuon, a popular dish in Vietnam, is made with different vegetables.  

Bun cha, a traditional Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and noodles,
is made with falafel, a traditional Middle Eastern food.  

In January, his restaurant cooperated with the Israeli embassy to organise Vietnam-Israel Gastronomy Friendship Week. He presented to the public original dishes on the Israeli-Vietnamese fusion menu. Many people were happily surprised to taste typical dishes of Vietnam, including nem cuon (fresh spring rolls),  bun cha (grilled pork with vermicelli), fried tofu, cooked with different ingredients and flavours of Israel and Vietnam.

Lubin  likes to cook Israeli dishes in his own way using local ingredients. For example, his shuk shuka (tomato cooked with egg), the most popular food in Israel, is also cooked with the special flavour of nuoc mam (fish sauce) from Vietnam. As he explained with a smile, it is difficult not to add nuoc mam to dishes while living in Vietnam.

“As a chef, I want to contribute my efforts to living here by training other cooks. I have trained several cooks in my restaurant and I have learned many things from them,” he said.

For him, Hanoi has always been seductive with its simplicity, its dynamism and the openness of the local inhabitants.

Even though Lubin has lived in Hanoi for a long time, each day living in this city is a new day for him. Simple happiness is beginning the morning with a bowl of hot pho (rice noodles) or a bowl of hot bun suon (rib pork vermicelli soup), sipping a cup of green tea, talking with local inhabitants, then walking around West Lake while watching the fast moving stream of people.

By Tran Thanh Giang