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Vietnam's Nam Hai Resort Appoints
 Ashish Deva Executive Chef

QUANG NAM, Vietnam (May 21, 2009) — More than 2,000 years after Vietnam established itself as a cultural crossroads between India and China — thus, Indochina — The Nam Hai is cultivating that heritage with the addition of fusion master Ashish Deva. 
Deva, who grew up in India but is thoroughly versed in all types of cuisine via a well-exposed, 15-year cooking career, took command of the kitchen as executive chef at Vietnam’s premier resort last month. 
“With The Nam Hai, we’re striving for an experience that celebrates our peculiar location at the most profound level,” said Herbert Laubichler-Pichler, The Nam Hai’s general manager. “You can see this in our architecture, in our landscape and now, with the addition of Ashish Deva, in our kitchen.”
Indeed, the nearby UNESCO World Heritage site of Hoi An itself is renowned as a fusion environment. Founded as a Cham trading port more than 1,000 years ago, the city endures as a Southeast Asian trading port that looks today largely as it did 400 years ago.
In less than six weeks, Deva has played an integral role in restructuring the restaurant concepts at the resort’s two gourmet-dining venues — The Restaurant and The Beach Restaurant — and developed new menus to go with each.
At The Restaurant, a distinct blend of Indian and contemporary cuisine takes center stage starting in July. Among the imaginative dishes to choose from are tandoori prawns with marinated watermelon cubes, mint chutney and chili oil; and chocolate-crusted foie gras au torchon with strawberry swipe, brioche and lotus seeds.
The Beach Restaurant, an elegant open-air space next to the main pool specializing in wood-fired pizzas and fresh salads, sushi and sashimi, bucks its lunch-only reputation by stepping into the dinner game, Vietnamese style. That means regional favorites — such as banh vac Hoi An (Hoi An style steamed shrimp dumplings) and ca mu nuong la chuoi (grouper in banana leaf with spice paste) — designed to share.
“Family style dining is a way of life here — and has been for centuries,” said Deva. “We think that by giving guests a closer look at the eating habits across Vietnam, whilst delivering dishes in the spirit of the produce- and seafood-rich Central Coast, the experience of visiting this hotel and this country will be greatly enhanced.”
The 35-year-old Deva has worked in some of the world’s finest kitchens since breaking into the food industry in 1994. In fact, every stop has been affiliated with a ‘Leading Hotels of the World’ property.
His first stint was at The Leela-Mumbai, which was then a Kempinski-branded hotel. His previous posting was with The Chedi-Muscat, a GHM-managed property in Oman. In between, he engineered the menus at The Leela-Goa, set up the Indian restaurant at The Chedi-Milan and ran a promotion at The Legian-Bali. Like The Nam Hai, the latter two hotels are in the GHM portfolio.
The Nam Hai, which is owned by Indochina Capital, offers upscale luxury accommodation never before seen on the East Sea. The villas were modeled on the traditional residences of Vietnam, known as nha ruong, but they have been creatively re-interpreted to accommodate modern technologies and amenities.
Most of the 35-hectare retreat’s 60 one-bedroom villas and 40 pool villas border the sea around five horseshoe-shaped spits of sand. In addition to a private stretch of beach, there are three pools available to guests, including a 50-meter-long Olympic swimming pool.
Since opening in December 2006, The Nam Hai has established a reputation as one of the hottest resorts anywhere. The many accolades include the following:
  • 2009 Asia Spa & Wellness Festival: ‘Best Destination Spa’
  • TTG (Asia-Pacific): ‘Asia’s Best Beach Resort,’ 2008 TTG Travel Awards
  • Travel + Leisure (US): ‘Best Resort,’ 2008 Design Awards
  • Gourmet Traveller: One of the ‘Best New Hotels 2008’
  • Conde Nast Traveller: Listed in both US and UK edition of 2007 ‘Hot List’
  • Conde Nast Traveler (US): ‘One of the World’s Hottest New Hotels’ & ‘One of the World’s Top New Spas’
  • Conde Nast Traveller (UK): ‘One of the World’s Top 75 Hotels’
  • Gourmet Traveller: One of the ‘Best of the Best’ new hotels
  • Travel + Leisure (US): Inclusion in the ‘It List’ 2007
  • Travel + Leisure (Australia): Inclusion in the ‘It List’ 2007
  • Cigar Aficionado (US): ‘Best New International Beach Resort 2007’
Situated on 35 hectares of landscaped tropical gardens overlooking the East Sea, The Nam Hai is an exclusive, all-villa property featuring 60 one-bedroom villas and 40 pool villas ranging from one to five bedrooms, each with its own infinity pool. Signature features of The Nam Hai include two gourmet restaurants; a tropical spa beside a lagoon; three beachfront swimming pools, including one temperature-controlled; and an 18-hole golf course (Montgomerie Links Vietnam) opening nearby in mid-2009. 
The Nam Hai is managed by GHM (, creators and operators of award-winning, distinctive luxury hotels and resorts, throughout Asia and the USA. GHM Chairman Adrian Zecha is renowned as a design-oriented boutique resort developer and founder of the world-famous Amanresorts. 
Founded in 1999, Indochina Capital is one of Vietnam’s leading financial services firms with diversified fund management and financial advisory businesses. Indochina Capital manages US$1.8 billion in three funds and numerous special accounts, including two real estate funds and Indochina Capital Vietnam Holdings, which in March 2007 became the first Vietnam-related company to list on a major global stock market, the London Stock Exchange main board. Indochina Capital also owns a controlling interest in and manages Mekong Securities, a leading Vietnamese broker/dealer and investment bank.
Indochina Land is the real estate division of Indochina Capital. The division manages two real estate funds capitalized initially at just over US$300 million facilitating investment in over US$1 billion in property projects. To date, Indochina Land’s portfolio includes 12 properties in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and the Central Coast, covering the full range of property types, including residential, retail, office, resort, hotel and other leisure and industrial developments. Ocean Dunes, Dalat Palace and The Montgomerie Links Vietnam are among the golf clubs in that portfolio. Prior to the establishment of the two real estate funds, over the past 15 years, Indochina Land and its principals had developed, financed and invested in well-over US$1 billion in real estate projects in Vietnam.
Established in 1992, General Hotel Management Ltd (GHM) is a market leader in conceptualizing, developing and operating an exclusive group of hotels and resorts worldwide. With a total of 14 properties in its portfolio and six more in the pipeline, GHM prides itself in providing guests with a distinctive lifestyle experience that is unrivalled. Every GHM resort and hotel is one of a kind, possessing distinctive concepts and design elements.

GHM’s portfolio of properties comprises The Setai, The Datai, The Legian, The Club at the Legian, The Nam Hai, The Strand, Carcosa Seri Negara, The Nizuc, The Yamu, The Ananti, The Malkai, The Club at the Saujana, The Saujana, The Andaman, The Chedi Club, The Chedi-Muscat, The Chedi-Phuket, The Chedi-Chiang Mai and The Serai Clulb. The company also provides a full range of hotel management services. For more information about the company, visit

Scott Resch

Also See: Herbert Laubichler-Pichler Appointed General Manager at Vietnam’s Nam Hai Resort / January 2009

Dorin Schuster Appointed Executive Chef at The Legian Resort-Hotel, Bali / January 2008

Made Famous During the War Between the United States and Vietnam, The Caravelle Hotel in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) Receiving a Top-to-bottom Overhaul / April 2008

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