Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ba Noi's Vietnamese Restaurant - - A Taste of Vietnam in Manila

After enjoying a couple of Thai specialties at Nav with my colleagues last Friday, Paul and I joined our dear friends Richard, Irene and adorable Lauren for lunch one rainy Sunday. This time we headed to Makati excited for our Vietnamese feast.

Shameless plugging alert: I've been craving for Asian dishes lately, I guess this is after going through the August issue of Yummy Magazine that features a LOT of yummy Asian recipes *drool*. So..grab your copy NOW!

A couple of months ago, Richard and I purchased a coupon each from Metro Deal Philippines. This coupon will allow us to have a four-course Vietnamese meal for two for only Php. 445 at Ba Noi's. What a steal! Since it will be our first time to try Ba Noi's we figured out that given how reasonable the price of the coupon is, it won't be too painful on the pocket should our meal fails to meet our expectations.

Let me share with you the dishes that were served to us by Ba Noi's:

ba noi's vietnamese makati

From the moment we sat down and handed our coupons to the server, we were given a glass of Watermelon Fruit Shake (Php. 90) each. Unfortunately, we were not given the chance to choose what type of fruit shake we'd like to get. Personally, I was hoping to get the Mango Fruit Shake. I guess this was the inclusion in the package.

The shake was not too sweet and good thing it was not very icy too. I enjoyed the drink together with the food that were served to us.

ba noi's vietnamese makati

For starters, each couple gets a plate of Cha Gio (Php. 190) or better known as Fried Spring Rolls. To be honest, I always order the fresh version when dining at a Vietnamese restaurant. I just prefer the cold vermicelli filling and plump shrimp together with the delicious peanut sauce. Despite my initial impression towards fried spring rolls, I tried a piece as I wrapped this with lettuce and basil and surprisingly I enjoyed it very much! I guess I love the sudden burst of flavor from the basil and the spring roll wasn't too oily as I was expecting it to be. Yum! While I highly recommend this, I will still schedule another visit to try the fresh spring rolls this time.


ba noi's vietnamese makati

No visit to a Vietnamese restaurant would ever be complete without having a bowl of Pho. It was just perfect that the weather was cold and rainy making us want that bowl of piping hot noodle soup even more. We had a bowl of Mien Ga (Php. 195) each. It had a good portion of cellophane noodles (bihon), chicken fillet and shiitake mushroom. The soup wasn't very salty and I think they did not use MSG as it didn't make me thirsty even after taking a few sips and finishing the noodles. I enjoyed adding a few basil leaves to further perk up the taste too.

ba noi's vietnamese makati

For our main entree, we had a big plate of Suon Nuong Xa (Php. 245) which are crispy pork riblets rubbed with lemon grass and served with soy chili. It tasted like fried porkchop as they've made the skin crunchy and the meat tender. I was quite disappointed with the dipping sauce though. It was just like the typical barbeque dip that we would have in local dishes. I was somehow expecting something more unique from them. They also gave us a bowl of rice each which was pretty generous in serving. Paul and I ended up sharing just one bowl and bringing the other one home. Nothing amazingly spectacular with this dish. Will definitely try something else next time.

ba noi's vietnamese makati

For dessert we had Banh Dan Lung (Php. 135). Warm pandan sticky dessert filled with mung beans and topped with coconut cream and toasted sesame seeds. I've tried this dessert before and I have to say Ba Noi's version was the best. I love the touch of the coconut cream which I've never had before. The texture was smooth and it had just the right amount of sweetness. This is a must-try!

We were pretty please with our lunch especially with the reasonable price tag that came with it. I enjoyed the Pho while Paul found the dessert quite interesting. On our way home, I can't help but reminisce about my Bawai's experience which for me is still the best Vietnamese restaurant that I've visited so far.

I later found out that while Bawai means paternal grandmother in Vietnamese; Ba Noi, on the other hand, means maternal grandmother. Interesting, don't you think?

I highly recommend you try Ba Noi's on a Sunday to avoid the crazy Makati traffic and to be able to park with ease.

Ba Noi's is located at the Ground Floor, Greenbelt Mansions, 106 Perea St., Legaspi Village, Makati City. Call them at 893-7359.

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