Somewhere between discussing the guest list and deciding on the venue for an upcoming event of Hizon’s Catering, Joseph Hizon shared that Vietnomnom is already open.
The Vietnamese Restaurant is his newest project with his brother and some friends. At the helm of the kitchen are Chefs David Hizon and JR Trani (also of Earth Kitchen) who stayed in Vietnam for several weeks to learn Vietnamese cooking.
“Our family has always enjoyed Vietnamese cuisine,” said Joseph.
I, on the other hand, am not much of a fan. “Kasi gulay,” reasoned my brother Jai, as we were seated at one of Vietnomnom’s tables a few days after my meeting with Joseph. Haha! My brother knows me too well.
According to their menu, Vietnamese cuisine is considered as one of the healthiest cuisines. Their dishes are abundant in fresh herbs and vegetables, meat is treated only as a condiment rather than main course (gasp!), and there is not much of dairy and oil. It’s perfect for the health-conscious, ideal for the habitues of the CrossFit gym next door.
Jai ordered Banh Mi which is a sandwich with homemade pate, pickled carrots and radishes, cilantro and crispy fish (P175).
Instead of fish, you can opt for grilled pork, grilled chicken, or the traditional version. What’s in the traditional version? I forgot to ask. Maybe I’ll order that on my next visit.
“You know what makes this really good? The bread!” I told Jai.
“It’s just baguette!” he countered. I wasn’t looking at him but it sounded like he was rolling his eyes when he said it.
Well, it’s really good baguette!
We also had a plate of fresh spring rolls. We went for the chicken variant (P180). The meat, fresh greens, pickled carrots, cucumber, radishes, and vermicelli noodles were all rolled together in rice paper and served with hoisin peanut sauce. It was very light but flavorful. I enjoyed biting into the different textures.
I figured we shouldn’t leave without trying the Pho so I got a bowl of rice noodles swimming in aromatic 12-hour broth with 5 different spices, with a layer of thinly-sliced beef on top. (P250) It came with a separate plate of fresh basil, bean sprouts, lime, and chillies. I would’ve been happy even with just the broth!
We ended our meal with Black Iced Coffee (P80) for Jai (which he said was really good) and Caramel Custard (P75) for me (which I now regret not ordering more to take home).
I intend to return soon and try the other items. I really enjoyed our meal despite all the gulay. I should go for the rice bowls and the salads next time. Okay, fine, maybe I’ll be skipping the salads. Hehe. But I still can’t stop thinking about the Banh Mi.
Vietnomnom is at 189 Maginhawa corner Makadios Streets, Sikatuna Village.