Pauline Nguyen, author of Secrets of the Red Lantern, along with recipes writers Luke Nguyen, Pauline’s brother, and Mark Jensen, Pauline’s partner, and Suzanna Boyd, Luke’s partner, are the proprietors of Red Lantern, the acclaimed modern Vietnamese restaurants in Sydney’s inner-city areas of Surry Hills and Darlinghurst. They hold in their hearts and their head the Nguyen family’s amazing stories and food secrets.
In her moving memoir, Pauline tells the honest, difficult story of the Nguyen family, following the journey of her parents from their homeland in Vietnam on their escape to Thailand as refugees, and then on to their eventual resettlement in Australia. They moved to Sydney’s most vibrant and notorious Vietnamese enclave where Pauline and her brothers grew up. A shared passion for food is at the heart of this family’s journey.
Internationally, ’Secrets of the Red Lantern has been listed in the Top 2 Best Cookbooks of 2009 by ’U.S Food and Wine’ magazine and in the Top 8 by the world’s leading culinary website, Epicurious.com as well as The Chicago Tribune, The Atlanta Journal Constitutuion and by NPR’s food writer Susie Chang.
In Asia ’Secrets of the Red Lantern’ won Best Asian Cookbook 2008.
Pauline’s writing has appeared in The Best Australian Essays 2010, Voracious - The Best New Australian Food Writing, Griffith Review and Growing up Asian in Australia. She is also co-author of Sydney Foodies Guide 2011. She holds a BA in Communications at UTS and in 2008 won Newcomer Writer of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards.
Not long after opening, Red Lantern won critical acclaim and was awarded Best New Restaurant 2002, Best Asian Restaurant 2006, Best Asian Restaurant 2007, Best Asian Restaurant in 2008 and Best Vietnamese Restaurant in 2009.
Recently the restaurant has been voted in the ’Top Ten Most Environmentally Sustainable Restaurants (Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2013) and placed in the Top 80 of Australian Traveller Magazine’s 100 Australian Gourmet Experiences.
In 2012, Red Lantern was voted AUSTRALIA’S FAVOURITE RESTAURANT (I LOVE Food Awards 2012) and took out the winners prize for the Telstra Australian Business Awards NSW 2012.
CLICK HERE to order signed copies of ‘Secrets of the Red Lantern.’
‘Secrets of the Red Lantern’ is also available at the restaurant and in all good book stores.
If you would like to get in contact with Pauline, you can email her at