Ten tough questions for My-hoa Nguyen

Words by My-hoa Nguyen / Ingmar Voerman

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In this series we ask ten tough questions to the Netherlands' best bartenders. This episode we fire questions at the amazing My-hoa Nguyen: More than beats the eye.

The Facts:
Name: My-hoa Nguyen
Age: 27
Profession: Bar Manager @ MOMO restaurant, bar & lounge, Amsterdam
Living in: Amsterdam
Born & raised in: Harderwijk

The Questions:

What is the nicest moment behind the bar you can remember?

"The moment I was working behind the bar with the guys as ‘the newbie’ and realized my knowledge, speed and efficiency was as strong as theirs. That was the moment I’ve done myself a little proud. Apparently, I’m super competitive."

What is the worst?

"Guest that say random Chinese or Japanese sentences to me, (I am Vietnamese) or ask me if I’m adopted, which on my ‘rude-radar’ is ranked pretty high (and to be clear; I am not adopted). Is that a normal question to ask?"

Who are the two Guru’s you look up to the most in our industry?

"I don’t get fascinated by people who I don’t know, so for the ones I do know;

Ben Warren; the lovely English fellow everybody loves & respect. His knowledge is incredible. He taught me a lot, has shared a lot of knowledge and has been there when I started bartending.

Remco Babay; my bestie with a shit ton of understanding of life and the bar scene. Opened and closed a cocktailbar, but also just opened a new one again. Most important: ‘Hij is zo lekker gewoon gebleven’."

Which book on bartending is a must-read?

"Death & Co"

What is the cocktail you have created you are most proud of and why?

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30ml Nikka Taketsuru
20ml Pekoe
20ml lemon
10ml white chocolate syrup
2 dash black walnut bitters
1 barspoon matcha powder

"Just a bit of everything; peaty-ness of the Taketsuru, bitterness from the matcha powder and black walnut bitters, sweetness of the white chocolate and the tea liqueur, full bodied structure of the egg white and for the nose grated dark chocolate."

What is the biggest challenge facing our industry in the Netherlands today?

"To fulfill everybody’s expectations and desires.
There is so much to offer nowadays, that everybody wants more and more. That perhaps the purpose of a drink or food gets over shadowed by the whole picture of somebody’s expected experience."

What is your guilty pleasure drink?

"Espresso Martini, that’s just because I’m a huge coffee lover."

If you could teach new bartenders one thing, what would it be?

"Don’t be afraid to ask questions, or to communicate to guests how they would prefer their drink, or just to make mistakes. Also; don’t be a dick. You can act all tough cause you’re a bartender now, but we are not saving the planet."

What do i have to do as a bartender to piss you off when visiting a bar?

"To brag how great you are. You could be great, but don’t show off. That just makes me want to throw up."

If you want to be remembered by any quote, what would it be?

"More then meets the eye."

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