Your culinary adventure can be immensely immersive, dining in outlets driven by philanthropic aims in Ho Chi Minh city. Some dining experiences can take on a whole new meaning. Dedicated to uplifting the lives of disadvantaged groups, these social enterprise outfits employ and provide culinary-hospitality training to street children, orphans and those with disabilities.

Blanc

Blanc, occupying the same beautifully restored French colonial-era building which houses Noir, is staffed by a team of 11 dedicated and enthusiastic staff who are hearing-impaired.

“We had extra dining rooms and like the idea of a restaurant in the ‘light’. Also, with several deaf people working at Noir, we thought why not give them their own restaurant?” says Germ, co-founder of Blanc, which opened in 2017.

The hearing-impaired in Vietnam face a high rate of unemployment, while those who work are often relegated to poorly-paid, unskilled jobs, Germ explains. A portion of Blanc’s profits are channelled to charities working with the hearingimpaired, including those which provide hearing aids to children who are hearing-impaired.

How the dining works:
Diners are encouraged to communicate in sign language to help get you acquainted with the “new” language. Fret not; there are pictographs of Vietnamese sign language on the menu. But feel free to order with pen and paper or just point to the item.

Cuisine:
International Asian fusion

Signature dishes:
Beef soup and Norwegian salmon.

Blanc is located at 178/180D Hai Ba Trung Street, Da Kao Ward, District 1. For reservations, contact +84 28 6266 3535 or visit their website.

Text by Angela Goh

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