HOLY SMOKE!

The Grand Ho Tram Strip today declared its all new Khói Barbecue 'open for business' in a celebration at the site that also saw a preview of The Grand’s new water fountain show and an exclusive VIP luncheon for a group of Vietnamese orphans who were visiting the site with Allambie Orphanage.

Nestled between two of the integrated resort's five pools, with views across the water's surface towards the East Sea on one side, and at The Grand's forthcoming fountain-show on the other, the Khói seafood barbecue was first launched in mid-2016.

"Khói became an instant phenomenon," explained Michael Kelly, executive chairman of The Grand Ho Tram Strip.  "We had line-ups every week.  So, today, after a six-week full refurbishment, the new Khói is open for business."

Named for the Vietnamese word for ‘smoke’, the 100-seat Khói spans 400 square metres, and features freshly caught delicacies of the deep, sourced market-fresh. The restaurant now includes six live tanks with both salt and fresh water fish on display for diners, and indoor/outdoor seating options.

The Grand's executive chef, Jean-Francois Meteigner, who was tasked with designing the menu for Khói commented that Vietnam is the real star in the barbecue outlet's offering.

"Seafood direct from the ocean before us, grilled with charcoal and served to share in traditional, Vietnamese family style," he remarked.  "From day 1, local guests have filled Khói, drawn to the fresh, live offering, and affordable pricing for the entire family.”

Menu highlights include live garoupa, baked and fried oysters, live flower and steamed or wok-fried mud crabs, clams and razor clams, fresh and salt water prawns, BBQ pork ribs, imported beef Korean-style, Grilled Eggplant, corn fries, seafood rice, sun dried squid, and King Prawns.

“We are covering all the BBQ bases with Khói,” chef continued. “My own recommendation is to start with the seafood tanks – these will feature a variety of fish, changing daily and market-fresh.  Sold by weight and served from tank-to-table against a stunning backdrop with the lights of The Grand reflecting over its pools and the East Sea – it just can’t be beat.”

"The refurbishment of Khói has seen a significant investment into our diners here, and caps-off an overhaul of our family amenities over the past 18 months," Kelly continued.  "In the past year or so, we have opened a mini-golf course, family karaoke, sports bar, video arcade, spacious parklands, an overhaul of several F&B venues, designer retail space and a 2D/3D cinema, which all told has seen a seven-figure investment into the guest experience we offer here."

This is in addition to housing Vietnam's only international standard casino and one of the world's top golf courses, The Bluffs.

"We have made it a mission to be the top entertainment destination for guests in the nation, and day by day we are fulfilling that mission."

The Khói overhaul is the latest in a wave of announcements emanating from the multi-award winning 2.2 kilometer beachfront site.

Last month, its developer, the Ho Tram Project Company, announced a $60 million investment into the Kahuna Ho Tram Strip condotel on the site immediately north of The Grand and followed that with the signing of a $63 million memorandum of understanding with PetroVietnam Low Pressure Gas Distribution JSC to provide electricity for the 164 hectare site with its own natural gas power plant.

Meanwhile, The Grand's second tower, the 559-room five star hotel named The Beach Club is 13-floors out of the ground and estimated to top-out within three months. The second tower will include a waterpark and 2,000 person amphitheater as well as extensive leisure amenities for guests.

All told, Ho Tram Project Company's parent - Asian Coast Development Limited - has $1.1 billion in deployed and forward-deployed capital invested in its Vietnam project to date.

By Hoang Anh