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Phở Chào adds twists to traditional cuisine



By Gia Linh

Through generations, phở (beef noodles) has made its way to be the world’s most popular Vietnamese dish. It is not hard to find a place selling phở here in Việt Nam. Be it a food stall or a fancy restaurant, its omnipresence has made phở a comfort food for almost every Vietnamese. The taste of phở and how it is done may vary among regions, but its soul remains the heart of our national identity.

In other parts of the world, people have seen phở as an integral part of Vietnamese cuisine. If you come to Asian restaurants elsewhere in the world, I bet that you will definitely see it as an obvious option on their menus.

With its long-standing fame in the history of cuisine, I find it no surprise that a handful of phở shops appear on the map of the Michelin Guide, the world’s most prestigious purveyor of dining, and I knew that I could not resist joining the bandwagon to give these places a try.

With that, I paid my first visit to Phở Chào, a family-run eatery selling authentic and fusion phở dishes and other varieties from northern cuisine. 

Phở Chào is a Michelin-recognised eatery worth trying for those who are looking for a twist on traditional Vietnamese phở dishes. VNS photo Gia Linh

As a southerner tasting northern dishes, I thought it would be great to be accompanied by my friend from the North to give more fair and precise comments.

With its being awarded the Bib Gourmand (given to those with great food and reasonable prices), Phở Chào is always packed with locals and expats wanting to enjoy the authentic Vietnamese dishes despite being located on a small street in the busy Bình Thạnh District.

Phở Chào is nowhere near a gourmet restaurant selling rice noodles with wagyu beef, but rather a warm, family-like eatery with a twist on modern and traditional decoration.

Wooden stools and low tables are seen outside of the relatively small shop, giving the place a familiar street-food vibe. The inside has more of a modern touch with fluorescent lights, and adorned on the walls are various posters featuring stories of the place.

Going different from the usual appearance of phở as a bowl of hot, savoury beef bone broth and silky rice noodles, Phở Chào has adopted creativity and fusionism into their dishes to catch up with modern times. To fuel our curiosity for its famous fusion phở dish, phởtine, we asked for it right away before rummaging through the rest of the menu. 

The menu listed a wide selection, ranging from their signature dishes to traditional phở and refreshing drinks. We were surprised to find the prices inviting, if not cheap for a Michelin recommendation, starting only at VNĐ50,000 (US$2) to VNĐ150,000 ($6.5).

Every dish was made upon order, but we only had to wait for around 10 minutes to be served our most anticipated dish, phởtine. The name somewhat speaks for itself, being a pun of phở and poutine (a Canadian dish with fries, cheese, meat, and gravy). It is around VNĐ90,000 ($3.8) for a small plate of phởtine and VNĐ140,000 ($6) for a larger one.

Phởtine, one of the best-sellers, is a perfect modern combination of phở and Canadian poutine. VNS photo Gia Linh

The contrast between the crunchy fries as a base and the steamy phở-flavoured sauce created an irresistible combo. What impressed me was that they used fresh potatoes for the fries, and there was no oil residue collected at the bottom of the plate. Poured on top was the phở broth made into a thick sauce, with julienned carrots and onions and loads of non-frozen beef slices. A thin layer of cheddar cheese in between added more of a western twist to the dish. No wonder this is among their top-selling dishes.

Our second dish was stir-fried phở. We opted for the chicken version for a lighter taste after the relatively heavy phởtine. The sauce was the same phở broth combined with chicken meat and vegetables. The smooth, thick consistency of the sauce balanced out so well the crunchiness of the fried flat rice noodle, and a little hint of spiciness from its homemade chilli ketchup added a perfect note to the plate. With a reasonable price of only VNĐ70,000 ($3), this delicacy is among my favourite versions of phở I have ever tried.

Pan-fried phở is perfect for a little crunch on the table. VNS Photo Gia Linh

When it comes to northern Vietnamese cuisine, it would be a miss not to mention northern-style stir-fried rice vermicelli with eel. Here at Phở Chào, the eel was well-prepared using turmeric, lime, and other seasonings to remove the fishy smell. Besides the umami of vegetables and oyster sauce, the hint of aromatic herbs, including perilla and laksa leaves, added another level of complexity to the dish. With layers of texture and flavours, this dish is truly a regional representative of the place.

Stir-fried rice vermicelli with eel is a dish worth trying when it comes to northern Vietnamese cuisine. VNS Photo Gia Linh

We ended the meal with a bowl of refreshing chè dừa dầm (sweet coconut milk soup), a dessert that originates from the northern province Hải Phòng. Similar to other Asians when commenting on desserts, this one is not too sweet. We love the mild, natural taste of coconut, coming from fresh coconut flesh, coconut jelly, tapioca pearls, and dried coconut flakes. Adding some ice to the sweet soup, we found this a perfect option to cool down during these hot summer days.

I must say Phở Chào is not a place that offers you gastronomic dishes, but it has succeeded in bringing phở to a more modern spectrum of flavours while retaining its familiar features. I agree that its excellent efforts are worthy of recognition by Michelin.

With unexpectedly affordable prices compared to its quality, Phở Chào is definitely a place worth trying for those who are on the search for a new kick in Vietnamese dishes. And with its quality service and consistency, Phở Chào will continue to do Việt Nam proud on the world’s culinary map. VNS

Phở Chào

Address: 52 Nguyễn Công Trứ Street, Ward 10, Bình Thạnh District, HCM City

Opening hours: 6:30am to 9pm

Hotline: 0983 821 638 or 0977 008 539


Comment: A Michelin-recommended phở eatery with creative twists in northern Vietnamese cuisine. 



Da Nang city hosts APOT Forum 2023



The Asia Pacific Onboard Travel (APOT) Forum 2023 is taking place in the central coastal city of Da Nang from November 25-28.

Da Nang city hosts APOT Forum 2023 hinh anh 1An overview of the Asia Pacific Onboard Travel (APOT) Forum 2023’s press conference. (Photo: VNA)

Da Nang – The Asia Pacific Onboard Travel
(APOT) Forum 2023  is taking place in the central coastal city of Da Nang from November

This is the second time the APOT has been held in the city
after the first successful organised in 2014.

This year’s edition features a range of activities, including a competition among catering chefs and an exchange of knowledge in the aviation sector and related industries in the Asia-Pacific
region, namely in-flight services, catering, interior design, supply,
transport and travel.

The highlight of the event was the Catrion “Jet Setters
Palette” cooking contest on November 26 organised by CATRION, a Saudi
Airlines Catering Company. There will also be an exchange between chefs to be
held on November 27. Notably, participating chefs will enjoy a performance
by Master Chef Dimuthu, so the exchange will be an opportunity for chefs in Da
Nang to learn, exchange and practice kitchen skills.

Keerthi Hapugasdeniya, the founder of APOT, said that previously, the APOT forum
was successfully held in many different nations such as the Republic of
Korea, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Australia, China and Vietnam.

Within the framework of the event, delegates will be taken to the Sun
World Ba Na Hills tourist area to try local cuisine, and participate in a
sightseeing tour on the Han River to enjoy the beauty of Da Nang at night.

APOT is a non-profit organisation dedicated to collaboration,
knowledge sharing and advancement in aviation and related industries in the
Asia-Pacific region.

Over the past decade, APOT has
continued to organise annual events and forums that bring together leaders and
experts to drive growth and positive changes in the industry./.


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Thua Thien-Hue’s cruise tourism picking up



The number of international cruise ships bringing thousands of tourists to Chan May port in the central province of Thua Thien – Hue began to pick up again after a long period being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thua Thien-Hue’s cruise tourism picking up hinh anh 1Chan May port (Photo:

Thua Thien-Hue – The number of international cruise ships bringing thousands of tourists to Chan May port in the central province of Thua Thien – Hue began to pick up again after a long period being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a survey by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), cruise tourism is a high-revenue form of tourism, with its revenue over 40% higher than other forms such as air or road travel. The UNWTO forecast that in 2023, cruise tourism will experience a strong recovery, and Thua Thien – Hue has many advantages to tap this type of tourism.

Thua Thien-Hue’s Chan May port has the capacity to accommodate ships with a tonnage of up to 70,000 DWT and tourist ships up to 225,000 GRT. This deep-water port has been selected by the Asia Cruise Association as one of the 46 stopovers in Southeast Asia for cruise ships and large tourist vessels.

Deputy General Director of Chan May Port JSC Nguyen Van Chuong said the port enjoys a special natural advantage with a 7 km-wide bay, a vast water surface area of up to 20, and mostly natural depths ranging from 9-14m, with minimal sedimentation. The port previously welcomed large cruise ships with considerable length and tonnage, capable of carrying over 6,200 passengers and crewmembers. A number of domestic and foreign partners have expressed interest in joint efforts to develop the Chan May port into a destination for big luxury liners in the central region.

Thua Thien-Hue’s cruise tourism picking up hinh anh 2Tourists land in Thua Thien-Hue via waterway (Photo: VNA)

Since 2018, the port has welcomed numerous luxury cruisers, including Royal Caribbean, Costa Cruises, Small Cruise, Princess Cruises, Ovation of the Seas, and Mary Queen 2, affirming its brand value on the global and regional tourism maps.

Permanent Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Binh revealed that the Aeon Mall Hue commercial centre project has a total capital of over 169 million USD, the largest-scale one in the central region. Operational in 2025, the project will contribute to diversifying shopping centres and services for both residents and tourists. Additionally, the province is preparing to attract investment in a large-scale shopping mall near Phu Bai International Airport./.


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Da Nang among 11 best places to go in Asia in 2024



The world-renowned travel magazine Condé Nast Traveller has announced the best destinations to visit around the world in 2024. In the list of Asian destinations, Da Nang was the only representative of Vietnam to make it to the top, alongside famous destinations such as Chinatown in Bangkok (Thailand), the Kathmandu Valley (Nepal), the Silk Road in Uzbekistan, Singapore, Mongolia, and Sri Lanka.


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