Get The Party Started

That 50th Birthday Party

When planning the perfect birthday surprise party, don’t forget to check this off your list

Working in the catering hospitality industry, I sometimes have things happen that I really want to share with the world… after all, stories are meant to be told.

Recently, I was asked to organize a 50th birthday party. The young Vietnamese girl was an Australian expat’s personal assistant here in Ho Chi Minh City who wanted to organize the party as a surprise. She is very young, well, young in my eyes, she would have been in her early 20s (it will make sense at the end of this article why I have mentioned this).

She wanted something that would suit her Australian boss. So, being Australian myself, I thought, let’s do something really Australian for the event. I took her around the wholesale markets in District 5, the ones around the corner from Lantern Street, Cho Lon street in District 5 as these are the ideal markets to find the perfect decorations here in Ho Chi Minh City. Yes, I knew I wasn’t going to find things such as Aussie flags or bunting, but we did find some wonderful flowers, napkins and ribbons to decorate with in green and gold. We were even able to find a huge 50th birthday card (not in green and gold sadly, but it did look great.).

The young girl was getting really excited, she really wanted this party to be the party of a lifetime for her boss. After all, it was his 50th… an important year to mark.

I then talked to her about what food she wanted to have. We decided on a canapé style affair, as there would be a mix of not only Vietnamese and foreigners, but also a mix of ‘big bosses’ all the way through to the cleaners for the business this boss ran.

I encouraged her to have a mix of foods, including some fabulous Vietnamese options and to also include some traditional Aussie style foods. We included some fantastic Australian options which included things like salt and pepper fried squid rings, pickled carrot and beetroot with goat cheese mousse, mini lamb skewers with macadamia crust, seared Australian beef with horseradish cream, warm shots of pea soup with crispy ham and, of course, some mini lamingtons (makes me hungry just thinking about this event).

The party was to be held at their office, so on the day of the event, I arrived early at the office to help her decorate. About an hour later my team of staff and all the fabulous food arrived. I helped the team finish setting up and we were ready to go. The decorations looked fantastic, the food looked and smelt wonderful, now we just need the guest of honor to arrive. He had been in Hanoi on business and was due to arrive back any minute.

You could feel the excitement from his team. I was hovering near my team thinking this is going to be a really heart-warming event. This boss is obviously loved and respected by his team.

Then, he arrived.

He looked quite shocked (more than surprise!). Everyone sang happy birthday to him and then started mingling, eating the food and generally it was a great atmosphere. Then, the guest of honor came over to thank me for my help organizing the party.

Turns out though, although, yes—his personal assistant got it right, it was his birthday on that day—she had the year wrong.

He was only turning 42… Ooops! My tip for the day: Planning a wonderful 50th birthday party is one thing but always, always check dates of birth!

BIO: Rachel Sinanan has been in the hospitality industry for over 30 years in Australia, the UK, Indonesia and is now working with KOTO Catering in HCMC. KOTO Catering is a complete solution for all catering and food production needs. This pioneer social venture, in partnership between KOTO and Lotus Impact, hires talented KOTO alumni for further professional and leadership development.

Share this story, choose your platform!

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr
Share on google
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on vk
Share on email
About the author:

Leave a Comment

5 Rewarding Careers in Healthcare Where You Can Make a Difference

Eleven out of the top 20 jobs on the Bureau of Labor Statistics list of the fastest growing careers are in the health care industry. Analysts say that there are two reasons for this expansion: one is that the huge baby boom population is aging, and the other is Obama’s health care initiative. There is much more to a

Read More »

Financial Independence

By Patrik Shore Imagine hitting the gym in your 20s and 30s and never having to lift a single weight ever again, but still having a bodybuilder’s physique in your 60s. Would you do it? This is exactly how future financial planning works, and it is the only thing I can think of where you

Read More »

Buy the best travel insurance with Care insurance

When you are travelling outside the country, you need a lot of finances to be handled well. while doing so, many things sometimes might get a bit chaotic and difficult to manage and in this, if there are any form of losses that were uncalled for, you might end up in a financial crisis. This

Read More »

Aikido in District 2

International Aikido School will open a new Dojo at Dancenter Viet Nam in District 2 , starting 20/3/2021. Aikido classes and Sword Arts classes for kids, teens and adults. Shobukan Dojo has been teaching aikido and sword classes all over Vietnam since 2012. Its international team of teachers will now open classes coming weekend 20th of March. This

Read More »