Akuna Launches Mate’s Mash-Up, A Series Of Star-Studded Chef Collaborations

Akuna at the Le Méridien Saigon presents Mates’ Mash-Up, an exciting series of chef collaborations featuring internationally acclaimed names such as Rishi Naleendra of Cloudstreet, Sun Kim of Meta and Peter Gilmore of Quay amongst others. This will be the first time these chefs will be cooking together in Vietnam.

Opened in July 2023, Akuna reflects the evolution of chef Sam Aisbett’s culinary journey, with an intentional nod to the people and produce of Vietnam. Presenting his most ‘authentic cooking’, Sam leans into his rule-breaking nature and actively decides against limiting the menus to the boundaries of a region or style. Drawing inspiration from creative possibilities found in Vietnam’s culinary landscape, expect indigenous ingredients, local herbs and spices, rare flavours and nuances from his adoptive home — many of which find their way to a fine dining menu for the very first time.

In the span of six months since its opening, Akuna was awarded New Opening of the Year by LaListe, the ultimate guide to the world’s best restaurants. It was also recognised among the Top 25 Restaurants by Robb Report Gourmet Collection 2023, cementing its reputation as a rising force in both the local and international culinary scene.

Mate’s Mash-Up

The four-part collaboration series will bring together some of Sam’s best mates and mentors from around the world, as they cook up a storm of exquisite gastronomy (and laughter) in Akuna’s open kitchen.

“Rishi and Sun are two of my best mates. We have such diverse culinary sensibilities between us, owing to our heritage and training. Guests should definitely be excited to experience the amalgamation of flavours from a trio of Australian, Sri Lankan and Korean chefs working together. As for Peter, he is the godfather of Australia’s fine-dining scene and I spent many years honing my craft in his kitchens. So I am absolutely looking forward to cooking with him again,” says Sam.

Saturday, 9th March (Dinner only)

  • Sam Aisbett (Akuna) X Rishi Naleendra (Cloudstreet) X Sun Kim (Meta) 
  • 6-course dinner at US$306++
  • Wine-pairing at an additional US$102++

Sam Aisbett, Akuna (Ho Chi Minh city)

Born in Melbourne, Australia, Sam worked through the kitchens of famed chefs Peter Gilmore and Tetsuya Wakuda in Sydney before opening Whitegrass in Singapore in 2016. At Whitegrass, he led the team to earn two consecutive MICHELIN-Star wins, as well as a place on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. He left Whitegrass at its peak in 2018, and found his way to Vietnam where he fell in love with the "beautiful chaos" of Ho Chi Minh city. Sam subsequently launched Akuna at Le Méridien Saigon, where he presents his most ‘authentic cooking’ yet. Leaning into his rule-breaking nature, Sam Aisbett does not define his cuisine by region or style. At Akuna, he serves up an experience that is ‘Sam on a plate’--- an amalgamation of his inspirations and experiences as a chef, restaurateur, traveller and produce enthusiast.

Rishi Naleendra, Cloudstreet (Singapore)

Rishi Naleendra is the first Sri Lankan chef to be awarded a MICHELIN-Star. His restaurant, Cloudstreet, offers a progressive and sophisticated approach to gastronomy – marrying disparate cultures and influences in an exuberant expression that champions ingredients and seasonality. Cloudstreet is a two MICHELIN-Star awarded restaurant, and is currently placed No.26 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023.

Sun Kim, Meta (Singapore)

South Korean chef, Sun Kim, draws inspiration from his cultural heritage and international experience to deliver a contemporary, yet deeply personal cuisine at Meta. While pushing the boundaries of his cuisine, Sun remains true and respectful of the bounties of the land, with creations that focus on the natural flavours of the produce. Meta is a one MICHELIN-Star restaurant and is currently placed No.17 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2023.

Mate’s Mash-up featuring Sam Aisbett X Rishi Naleendra X Sun Kim is limited to 40 seats. Reservations will open on Tuesday, 13 February 2024 at www.akunarestaurant.com.