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“Great cookery class at friendly restaurant”

Heaven Garden Hoi An
Ranked #636 of 863 Restaurants in Hoi An
Cuisines: Southwestern, Chinese, Vietnamese, Fast Food
Restaurant details
Reviewed December 12, 2013

I booked a cooking course for three friends and myself at Heaven Garden in Hoi An in November 2013.

I had been looking forward to learning some Vietnamese recipes in Hoi An because of its reputation for excellent food, but when we arrived the town was flooded and the cooking school I has planned to go to was under water. We stopped in at the Heaven Garden for lunch somewhere dry on our first day, and as I flicked through the menu I found a tiny advert for cookery classes. We asked a bit more, and found that the set-up is far better than the better-known schools, because we could choose any 4 dishes from the restaurant menu to learn - not just the 2 or 3 standard options at the bigger establishments.

Our lunch had included an amazing dish of barbecued pork with chilli and lemongrass which we all wanted to try again, so we picked that as one of the four. Spring rolls were a must, and seafood noodles - two dishes we ate almost every day during our trip in Vietnam. Then for the last dish we chose fish barbecued in banana leaves, which was marinated in the same chilli and lemongrass sauce. We booked for the next morning and went away salivating.

When we arrived the following day, an area at the side of the restaurant had been cleared and a big table-top burner set up. The surface around it was piled high with prepared vegetables, a huge piece of pork loin, a whole fish, squid and lots of prawns. At the table next to it, 4 chopping boards made from slices of tree were waiting, with 4 huge knives and some luminous orange aprons. The chef came out to greet us, and the owner of the restaurant translated. He spent over three hours with us, showing us how to cook the dishes and giving us all tasks so we all cooked together. Spring rolls first - we ate half of those as soon as they were done - then the seafood and then the pork and fish. Once everything was cooked bar the fish, we sat down to eat it all with a cocktail from the bar while the chef finished barbecuing the fish.

A wonderful morning, a great experience and lovely food. I learned so much, and will definitely be cooking all the recipes again. I would highly recommend the restaurant and the classes to anyone - just take your time and work out what you want to learn, and then go with the flow.

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Thank Alona S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3 - 7 of 8 reviews

Reviewed November 25, 2013

Some friends and I had a lunchtime meal here one day during the Nov13 floods, and it was phenomenal food. Our favourite was the pork with chilli and lemon grass.
We sat outside on a nice table to watch the world go by, ordered four dishes between four and loved them all. Quick, efficient and friendly service, too.

But even better than the meal we had there was the next day, when we went back for a cooking course. It was a private session, we started at 10am, just the four of us with the staff and the chef. Again we chose 4 dishes to cook, starting with fried spring rolls, and had such good fun. The chef couldn't speak any English but the owner was a fine translator and we built a good rapport with the chef despite the language barrier! I would massively recommend this experience over any of the more widely advertised cookery courses - despite the lack of a tour around a market before cooking (which I didn't really want anyway) that some other courses offer, the absolute personal nature of this course means it's got to be one of the best places to do this in Hoi An!

Would definitely go back here if I ever return to Hoi An...

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1  Thank Rob H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2013

Restaurant seems to have two names - at least two names on the building; Heaven Garden and Vetiver.

Vetiver has good reviews. Heaven Garden, not so much.

We had a great experience. The waitress, Thjep, was delightful. She was helpful. Her English was limited, but she worked hard to get it all right.

I had the cao lau and it was some of the best I have had. My wife enjoyed the grilled eggplant.

The service was so good that we stopped in for drinks on another afternoon. Thjep remembered us and make us feel especially welcome.

It is not in the Old Town area, but on the main drag through town. It is well worth the visit! Our experience was nothing like the previous posters.

Thank Paul P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2013

Appalling from start to finish...didn't have half of the items on the menu...got the drinks orders wrong...no music/atmosphere...tables way too close together...packet noodles...cold chicken...no cutlery...could not have been worse.

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Thank Frassidy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2015
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Thank s10510229
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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