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, 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.
International Asian fusion
Beef soup and Norwegian salmon.
Text by Angela Goh