Project : C’est La Vie – Mai House Saigon 
Category : Restaurant 
Where : Ho Chi Minh – Vietnam
Line : System 850
Partner : BTInternational (BTI)

The luxury Hotel Mai House in Ho Chi Minh City combines the fascination of the past with the elegance of the modern age.
A location for glamorous events, it houses a ballroom covering an extensive area of 500 square metres and a magnificent swimming pool with a breath-taking view.
In its interior the restaurant C’est La Vie is open every day for lunch and dinner, offering à la carte menus with Vietnamese and French fusion dishes always using ingredients in season.

The true outstanding feature is the open kitchen, real nerve centre of the restaurant. It has seating capacity for 144 and is designed as an independent island, used both as a counter for the breakfast buffet and as a stage for the chefs at work.

The brief

  • The chef wanted a modern and attractive kitchen where everything was organised rationally in order to follow the natural workflow.
  • The new kitchen had to be open. “We wanted guests to see the chefs at work with their own eyes”, said Maximo Ares, F&B manager with Mai House Saigon.
  • “We needed a firm that would meet our needs through a custom solution crafted right down to the smallest detail”, added Ares.

The solution

  • When it was contacted, the international consultancy BTInternational (BTI) was tackling a layout already designed by other consultants. “We started by pinpointing a series of crucial problems on the basis of which we rethought the layout in order to better meet the client’s needs”, explained Le Van Ha, CEO of BTI.
  • A cooking island from the Ambach System 850 line was therefore designed with hygienic one-piece worktop and equipped with a fryer, an electric pasta cooker, gas grill for barbecue and a wok built into the cooking block.
  • Produced in the exclusive Ambach colour range, the finishing touches include coloured control panels, side panels and doors, brass control knobs and a brass rail. BTI also supplied made-to-measure stainless-steel articles for the rest of the kitchen, including extractor hoods, cabinets, sinks, shelves and trolleys, as well as refrigeration equipment such as cellars, display units, refrigerators and freezers.
  • BTI supplied also all the kitchen and bar equipment, including the main hotel kitchen and the open kitchen of C’est La Vie, also supervising installation and after-sales service. “I had never worked before with Ambach and Mai House Saigon was the perfect place to start”, commented Le Van Ha.
  • Several challenges had to be faced, starting with transport of the impressive island which had to be taken up to the first floor where the restaurant was located. “We worked synergically with Ambach to divide the island up into small modules to transport it more easily and faster”, explained Le Van Ha. Only after having brought the island inside the kitchen was building of the wall closing off the restaurant completed.
  • “All critical issues were brilliantly resolved thanks to the teamwork. Ambach quality speaks for itself through the projects carried out all over the world. The final cooking island is incredibly sophisticated”, he said. “The matte black finish combined with the stainless steel embellished with the brass is truly incredible”, concluded Ares.