Making a Mooncake: Learn to Cook for Free!

By: Tran Thi Minh Hieu

Expatriates living in Hanoi now have the opportunity to learn to cook Vietnamese dishes for free. The brand new Ajinomoto Cooking Studio has been up and running since June 2017 on the south side of Hanoi, providing free cooking classes every week from Tuesday to Sunday, for different age groups.

Here is how it went last Saturday afternoon, when a group of 25 Japanese women mingled with Vietnamese families in a session of mooncake baking, just in time for the coming Mid-Autumn Festival.

The session started with demonstrations from chef Le Thi Hong Diep, who teaches at the Hanoi College of Tourism. The friendly chef showed her professional and elegant ways with shaping and decorating a mooncake using plastic moulds, and gave clear step-by-step instructions. The whole process was shown on three large screens around the room as well, so participants could easily follow the lesson from the screen.


The real deal, however, was when everybody started making their own mooncake from ingredients readily prepared on the tables. It was a bit chaotic at first, and the Japanese expats were still somewhat confused but eager to learn. The chef and sous chef went to each table to give assistance, and after a while, the participants started to catch on.

Everyone was happily immersed in what they were doing, especially the children. They might be creating quirky shapes from the flour and then proudly showing them to their parents, or playing with the plastic moulds unnoticed. The young women had fun creating different patterns for decoration, and some of them were really artistic.


With nine tables arranged in two circles, each family or group of friends had their own creative space. There was also a sense of competition as some groups tried to finish as quickly as they could, while other groups took their time. Surprisingly, it was the groups with young children that finished faster—perhaps they are used to the pressure of games and contests.

When everyone had been satisfied with their artwork, the mooncakes were put into the three ovens at the back of the class for 10 minutes. This was to be repeated three times before they were finally baked. Meanwhile, refreshments were served, and the chef demonstrated how to make the matcha and green bean fillings that had just been used to make the mooncakes.


As the fillings were being cooked in a pan, the kids gathered around to watch and smell the aroma, and even got to taste the hot fillings after that. Masumi, one of the Japanese ladies, happily explained, “We joined this class because we wanted to experience Mid-Autumn Festival in a different way. We also have mooncakes in Japan, but this is the first time I have ever tried making Vietnamese mooncakes!”

After the mooncakes were done, the participants went home with their own handmade mooncake and a gift bag from Ajinomoto with the recipe inside. They took photos with each other and for each other, and even exchanged emails. The smiles on their faces showed how much fun they had. It was really a good chance for the expats to immerse in local culture and get to know local people.

Those interested in learning more about culinary arts, especially Vietnamese cuisine, are welcome to join similar free sessions at Ajinomoto Cooking Studio. Class schedules can be found at its Facebook page. To register, you can either send an email with the code number of the class you want to join, your name, date of birth, and phone number to, or call during office hours, and the staff who can speak English will gladly assist you.


Address: Ajinomoto Cooking Studio, Level 1, Artemis Mall, 3 Le Trong Tan, Thanh Xuan District, Hanoi.




Phone: (+84) 243 640 6688

Lindemans Grand Day Out

By: City Pass Guide

Sat, 25 Apr 2015, 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Lindemans, Red Apron Fine Wines & Spirits and Moose & Roo present: Lindemans Grand Day Out 

Join us on this special Grand Day Out to spend time with your family and friends, to experience the Australian & New Zealand Food & Wine culture and to raise fund to help Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation - an Australian charity rescuing kids in crisis in Vietnam with their future activities. 

The Grand Day Out will start from 10 am until 10pm with many fun activities for your little ones, we have prepared a kid’s corner with a large playground to keep your children occupied while you can enjoy your precious weekend with our BBQ station and a glass of wine from Lindemans’ wine booth. Moose & Roo Restaurant also provide a special menu for you to choose from.

What you can expect at the event: 

- Live music

- BBQ Station

- Kid’s corner

- Wine booth

- Games

Fundraising for Blue Dragon 

Please note that 10% of every ticket purchase will go to Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation.

Every penny you raise will be used to help street kids, disabled kids and victims of child labour and sex trade.


American Club Hanoi
19 - 21 Hai Ba Trung, Hoan Kiem, Thành Phố Hà Nội


Red Apron Fine Wines and Spirits

Founded in 1999, Celliers d’Asie has been one of the pioneers of the wine development for Vietnam. A Vietnamese company that employs multi-cultural wine experts for all over the world with an outstanding portfolio and competitive price ranges.
Red Apron Fine Wines and Spirits serves retail market with 12 boutiques in Hanoi, Hoi An, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City

Special combination of Electronic and Traditional music

By: City Pass Guide


yo yo yo, let’s come out what you are familiar with traditional music and forget that electro music can’t stand next to the traditional musical instruments. Join us to discover the unexpected sounds from electronic music and “dan bau” - a vietnamese traditional musical instrument in experimental style. Special program has the presence of the leading experimental musicians in Hanoi including Vu Nhat Tan, Dee.F, Nguyen Do Minh Quan, and Pham Thanh Tam.


Vu Nhat Tan

“Vu Nhat Tan has found inspiration in ancient music, folk music, court music and chamber music from different regions of Vietnam. For then, the influence has become a peak through the sound sometimes mysterious, sometimes harsh glare of life …”

(New York Time)


Let’s come to the show to enjoy the melody that you can not stop dancing by Dee.F, who turns human life sound into the tone controls your legs!

Dee.F has performed in festivals like Kobalt Works (Belgium), Delicate Decibel (Thailand), Bass Kitchen (Taiwan),..What will he bring surprises to us? Please wait!

You can also learn more Dee.F’s music at his site

Nguyen Do Minh Quan

Self - learned guitar at age 11, and then played in the band Rock / Metal as Nuranium and Thrasher, then became sound and recording engineer for a Vietnamese Post Punk band called Wood Lim, and then switched to play electronic music, the little guy Nguyen Do Minh Quan, never stops making audiences surprised with innovative and colorful music. He is very willing to give you an unforgettable night!

Keep swinging with his music in

Pham Thanh Tam 

With Vietnamese musical instrument “Dan bau”, the young girl came out from Vietnam National Academy Music will give you an amazing night of time (past and contemporary) interference, the new combination between traditional instruments and electronic music.  Having been selected in the list Synthesis Album Vol. 1, Urban Art Berlin 2014 - the album focusing on the work of leading female composers in the world, Pham Thanh Tam promises to bring an unforgettable musical space!

Thu, 23 Apr 2015, 8:00 PM 11:00 PM

Hanoi Rock City
27/52 To Ngoc Van, Tay Ho District


Hanoi: June Hottest Events from 9/6 to 15/6

By: Alfredo

Hanoi: June Hottest Events from 9/6 to 15/6

Tuesday 10th of June

6th European-Vietnamese Documentary Film Festival at Goethe Institute

For the sixth time, EUNIC, the network of the European cultural institutes and embassies, and the National Film Studio for Documentary and Science Film Vietnam, will present European and South East Asian films.

After each film from Vietnam a film from a European country will follow. An ideal opportunity not only to watch fantastic movies, but also to enjoy the diversity of European languages.

National Studio for Documentary and Scientific Film, 465 Hoang Hoa Tham

Life Up and Down exhibition at L’Espace Hanoi

You are invited to the painting/photo/poetry exhibition by Eric Huynh, Marie-Cécile Marques and Ton That Thanh Van.

Life Up and Down exhibition at L’Espace Hanoi

The series of paintings/photos by Eric Parent and Marie-Cécile Marques will feature the contrast between the bustling streets and peaceful life of Vietnamese people.

Through 15 ink paintings by Marie-Cécile Marques and photos by Eric Huynh, the inner and outer, noisiness and serenity will be combined. In particular, these works are painted on Do paper, a unique material of Vietnamese fine art, which is perfect for ink.

L’ Espace Hanoi. Free entry. 24 Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem District


Wednesday 11th of June

Exhibition “Affordable Art” at Dong Phong Gallery

Dong Phong Art Gallery is pleased to present more than 30 works by some of the best artists in Vietnam. The show contains works both by artists with established international reputations and by new and existing talents.

Exhibition “Affordable Art” at Dong Phong Gallery

These accomplished artists have contributed works to the “Affordable Art” show: Do Minh Tam, Pham An Hai, Le Quy Tong, Ly Hung Anh, Doan Hoang Lam, Ha Manh Thang, Luu Vu Long, Doan Xuan Tang, Vuong Thao, Nguyen Dinh Hoang Viet.

This is a rare opportunity to see and acquire works by some of Vietnam’s most prominent artists. The works include oil and acrylic paintings, mixed /media art, ink sketches and digital art. The works are available at prices from US$50 – US$500.

Dong Phong Art Gallery, 3 Ly Dao Thanh, Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem District.


Friday 13th of June

Milonga and Argentine Tango at Xichlo Café

Xichlo Café welcomes you to a milonga on the last working day night of the week to enjoy the scene, milonga atmosphere and tango spirit.

2nd floor, Xichlo Cafe. From 8pm-11pm. 33 Vu Ngoc Phan Street

Ca trù - the essence of Vietnamese traditional music at Ca Tru Hanoi Club

This is a chance not only to enjoy a rare kind of ancient music, but also to learn about what was once a much cherished entertainment and ways of expressing individualism among the elites and most respected intellectuals of the Vietnam society.

Ca trù - the essence of Vietnamese traditional music at Ca Tru Hanoi Club

Ca tru used to be denounced as an inappropriate form of theatre by the government during the latter half of the 20th century and is now finding its way back to the cultural scene.

Ca Tru Hanoi Club, 42-44 Hàng Bạc , Hoan Kiem District


This popular Vietnamese rock band will perform rock'n'roll music, featuring many hits of The Rolling Stones, Chuck Berry, Jonny Winters, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Carl Verheyen,.. etc will be covered by two Hanoi guitar heroes Vinh Xiêm –and Cường Bồng.

The Doors Café, 11 Hàng Chĩnh, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi



Saturday 14th of June

Lucy’s Dream presents Wearable Art Pieces exhibition

Lucy’s Dream presents Wearable Art Pieces exhibition

Lucy's Dream is Vietnam's ultimate destination for unique wearable art piecesTheir design team is composed of young Vietnamese Artists who hand-paint, digitally trace and print one-of-a-kind East-meets-West designs on fabrics, and make clothing and other lifestyle products out of these self-designed fabrics.

Lucy’s Dream. From 10am-10pm. 2nd Floor, 20 Trang Tien, Hoan Kiem District.

Live Music weekend at Spy Bar

Featuring some local bands who will entertain the crowds with famous top hits from international stars.

Spy Bar. Free entry. From 8pm. 12A Nguyen Huu Huan Street, Hoan Kiem District.

Old Boys Blues at The Doors Café

Old Boys Blues at The Doors Café

This popular blues and rock band will be featuring many hits of Creedance Clearwater Revival, Eagles, the Beatles, the Doors, and many more.

The Doors Café, 11 Hang Chinh, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi



Sunday 15th of June

THBC Spanish Tapas Bar presents the movie Mar Adentro

Two of the most talented figures in contemporary Spanish cinema, actor Javier Bardem and director Alejandro Amenábar, collaborate for this powerful drama, based on a true story.

Ramón Sampedro (Javier Bardem) was a fisherman and part-time poet who, at the age of 26, suffered an accident while diving that left him a bedridden quadriplegic. Now 54, Ramón must depend on his family, he has come to see his life as frustrating and pointless and wishes to die with what remains of his dignity. with her own mortality issues since being diagnosed with a degenerative disease, and Ramón hopes her condition will make her arguments more persuasive.

As Ramón and Julia work together on his case and help to prepare a book of his poems for publication, Ramón finds himself falling in love with his attorney, who happens to be married, but while his infatuation gives Julia second thoughts about the case, Ramón remains convinced that the greatest gift to him would be an end to his life.

Javier Bardem's performance in The Sea Inside (aka Mar Adentro) earned him the Best Actor award at the 2004 Venice Film Festival.

THBC Spanish Tapas Bar. 44, Ngo 31, Xuan Dieu, Tay Ho

R&R Tavern presents The White Eagles


Old Boys Blues at The Doors Café

If you are interested in rock and roll and want to feel something wild, and crazy you should join the White Eagles’ performance at R&R tavern club.

R&R Tavern. From 9pm-12pm. 256 Nghi Tam, Tay Ho, Hanoi
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