Inside, you’ll be introduced to not only the finest French culinary experience in Vietnam, but to the story of a fictional Eurasian-French family told through architecture and interior design. The main characters are the three offspring of a glamorous French mother and a Eurasian father (a pairing inspired by Marguerite Duras’ The Lover.)
Each of La Maison 1888’s private dining rooms is conceived as the domain of one of the children. The Accountant’s Room, home to the sensible middle son, is decorated with Paymaster American adding machines and Smith Corona and Remington typewriters, with antique accounting ledgers used to make overhead lampshades.
The eldest son, aka “The Playboy” is a wanderer whose space, The Traveler’s Room, is filled with souvenirs of his travels. Here you’ll find original Stetson, Knox and Churchill hatboxes, empty medicine bottles, travel posters and favorite books such as The Story of a Bad Boy by Thomas Bailey Aldrich and the Daily Mail’s Pocket Guide to Paris originally priced at three French francs and 50 centimes.
The youngest child and only daughter was an eccentric beauty. Her lair, Le Boudoir de Madame, was where she entertained men (sometimes, it is whispered, for financial gain.) You’ll notice the Vietnamese embroidered puff stool, where she sat while “putting on her face” in the vanity mirror, as well as the wooden canopied Chinese bed, bronze lanterns, antique screens and armoire for storing her lacy bits.
While long gone, our Indochinese inhabitants would no doubt be pleased to know that La Maison 1888 was named one of the World’s Top Ten Designed Restaurants by Architectural Digest in 2012.