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Catering to Hanoi’s Evolving Palate

September 3, 2013 MICE No Comments Email Email

“Bicycles,” says Kurt Walter, the Press Club’s general manager. “When we opened in 1997, many of our guests arrived by bicycle. Today, we’re helping to park Bentleys.”

Outside catering at the Temple of LiteratureThe bridge between the Press Club’s debut in 1997 and its 16th year today is the distance between modernity and another age entirely. Hanoi has developed at lighting speed over the past decade, and with new influences come new tastes.

Designed to mirror the elegant, atmospheric haunts of 1920s Vietnam, the 86-seat Press Club Restaurant has managed to keep pace with the capital’s rapidly evolving palate.

Led by Marcel Isaak, a classically trained Swiss chef and author of the Periplus book ‘The Food of Vietnam’, the Press Club’s culinary team has been called on to cater the city’s most prestigious events; while its three handsome banquet rooms, 200-square-metre ballroom and breezy rooftop terrace are considered the place to host stylish get-togethers and events in Hanoi.

Planners from the Press Club have organized bespoke private events from 6 to 500 people staged in some of Hanoi’s most recognizable locations: the Temple of Literature, the Hanoi Opera House and the National Museum. Outfits such as Audi, Chevron, Samsung, Nokia, the British Embassy and Press Club BallroomDestination Asia have all called on Marcel Isaak’s expertise to create menus for their most distinguished occasions.

“You don’t get ahead by copying what works,” says Isaak. “Like anything else, there’s an evolution of taste that’s peculiar to a given place and a given time, and more than anywhere else in Hanoi, the Press Club has its pulse on those trends.”

The Press Club’s member wine evenings, weekly networking nights, and a once-a-month ‘Friday on the Terrace’ party have become expat institutions in Hanoi, with more and more Vietnamese joining the mix every year. In late 2012, the Press Club launched ChampagneFriday Jazz, a weekend-welcoming event with live music, free canapés and two-for-one drinks including champagne. Press Club Terrace

A decade after its debut, the Press Club underwent an extensive refurbishment. Its meetings facilities were freshened from top-to-toe, with new carpets, new paint, new fabrics, new fixtures and leather upholstery. In September, the ground-floor lobby will undergo a full sprucing up in step with the venue’s vision for 2013.

The Press Club won “Best International Restaurant” from the Vietnam Economic Times for six consecutive years, and was recently called out as ‘One of Asia’s Finest Restaurants’ by the Miele Guide in its 2011/2012 edition.

For more information on the Press Club’s promotional meeting and conference offers for the second half of 2013, visit

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