Cyprien Pierlovisi loves his food. He was toiling away in French kitchens from the age of 15, before he moved to a London pub and worked behind the bar. This was followed by stints opening successful restaurants and wine bars across Europe.

The dining in the dark concept has hit Saigon hard recently, with two new theme restaurants opening since September (Blackout is the other, at 74/7D Hai Ba Trung, Q1, HCMC, sharing space with La Camargue).

A private restaurant seems almost self-contradictory — yet until September, that’s what Evita Bistro was: only for the degustation of City Garden residents.

Cuisine at La Fiesta, Saigon

Festooned with cacti and luchadore wrestling masks, one might be forgiven for thinking they’d wandered into a Guadalajara cantina and not a Saigon restaurant when visiting La Fiesta.

There is an art to eating ribs. I have a special T-shirt in my closet that I use only for this purpose and it’s basically a wearable napkin. When getting down to some serious ribs, there is no time for pointless etiquette. Ribs are comfort food, and comfort food is meant to be messy.

Now that the World Cup has finished, the world’s attention has left Brazil — but that’s no reason to forget the parts that don’t involve football, nationalism and ham-acting.

I’ve been trying to fix my life. Wake up at a regular time and exercise. Cut out the bad stuff. Eat better.

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