1. Who are you what do you do?
I am Namanh Hoang and I’m a creative strategist. I think it was hard to put a title for me because I tend to do everything from design to direction to video to programming to business strategy. However, the common thread in most of my work is I clean up messes. Reminds me of the assassin from “The Professional” or Mr Wolf from “Pulp Fiction”, when there’s a problem of any sort they call me in to fix it. Sometimes it a new challenge as simple as getting new market share but sometimes it’s more complex like how to create a process flow for collection of product information and then consistently apply it across all levels of product information such as packaging, website, marketing etc. Often a client doesn’t know they have a problem until I point it out, show them how it can be more efficient and how to improve, other times my solutions create new problems which ultimately have to be solved in order to grow the business, more customers, more sales always introduces more problems.
2. Wheres you favorite place for lunch?
Ironically, my favorite place for lunch is not here in the states, it’s in Taiwan at place of which the name I’m not familiar with but over there it’s called “100 Chien” Restaurants. 100 Chien means 100 NT which is the equivalent of about $2.70 here. Most plate there is made fresh and is only $2.70 each. Some are more but not much. The menu is huge with a variety ranging such as fried tofu, sauteed pork, clams, sauteed peasant leaves, egg omelet and my favorite duck blood soup. A bowl of rice is always free an included. What I love is the variety, you can always be in the mood for something and they will have it and you don’t feel like it’s a waste because the portions are always plentiful enough for 3 people to share so it comes down to an average only $0.90 per plate per person. These restaurants liter the streets of Taipei but 4 of the most popular ones are on ZhangAn East Road, Section 1. I actually don’t eat lunch much here in the states only because it’s a hassle to have to go somewhere and it’s not food I’ll really have time to enjoy, you have to wait in lines, wait for the food, and it’s rarely ever fresh if it’s fast. The formula at these restaurants in Taiwan are simple, make it small, fast and fresh. If they had places like that here I would eat it everyday for sure.
3. Where’s your favorite place for dinner?
My favorite place for dinner is toss up between Ruth Chris Steakhouse and Flemming’s is a close second. Now I know there’s always debate about which is better, even among Maestros and Morton’s but I personally feel that Ruth Chris is that middle ground where you aren’t over paying for your food and it’s pretty good. I think it depends a lot on your palette. If you like your steak well done or even medium, then you don’t really need to go to such good places to have your burnt steak. The best way to enjoy Ruth Chris is to enjoy a rare steak. It’s the only way to take advantage of the dry aging process that the steak goes through. A rare dry aged bone in rib eye will have marbleized quite well and still retains the flavorful fatty parts that compliment the meat so well. Most people prefer the filet mignon and while its a great cut of meat, I think its just not fatty enough for me. I don’t want to say that Ruth’s Chris is by far the best steak, because its not. There are plenty of greater steak places such as the Wagu at Cut but when it comes down to cost, you can’t call a place you can afford every once in a blue moon your favorite place. Your favorite place has to be something you can enjoy often.
4. Last meal would be?
If i limited my last meal choices to what I’ve experienced so far, it would be very sad. I have so much more taste to explore, but if I had to choose, it would be chinese hot pot, not because the food is worthy of a last meal but because it’s a meal i can enjoy with all my friends, all sitting in a circle sharing together, it offers me in that last moment try for the last time a variety of tastes from seafood to meat to vegitables. I get to have both mild and super spicy. It’s not something you sit and concentrate on your food in isolation. it’s something you put in and wait for and in that waiting you get to talk to your friends. It’s not something you have to finish fast or else the taste will be gone, it’s something you take your time with at your own pace. While Korean BBQ is also similar it can be over cooked, someone has to concentrate on it, and it only tastes good the minute it’s off the grill. With hot pot you can put it in and forget, over cooked no problem it still good. I think the 100 Chien restaurant offers that same feeling so it would be a close second.