d Zao Vietnamese Bistro

2 Nov

I first learned about Zao when my former boss, Mr. Lee, brought me and some colleagues there over a year and a half ago. I remember that we were supposed to have lunch at Kogi Bulgogi, the Korean restaurant next door but there were too many people at that time so we decided to have some Vietnamese food instead.

I recall being excited because spending most of my life in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, made me no stranger to Vietnamese food. Like every Palaweño who has left home for other places, I always look forward to eating chao long, beef stew, and French bread whenever I’m home on vacation. 

I was excited to look for these familiar dishes but I soon discovered that I wasn’t going to find “chao long” anywhere in the menu, which was something that also happened when I had dinner with friends at Pho Hoa. So, I settled on crispy spring rolls served on top of rice with fresh vegetables on the side. It wasn’t bad but since the serving was quite generous. Even so, I loved the Pomelo salad with shrimps, chicken, and fresh herbs. It was AMAZING and I’d gladly eat a whole order of it by myself but since I was with my boss I pretended to be the demure person that wasn’t and ate only a few bites. 

Anyway, it took more than a year for me to crave for the crispy spring rolls again so I went to the second level of the Eastwood Mall in Libis and ordered the same dish. However, the rice bowls were no longer available and in their place are noodle bowls. It’s basically the same thing, with cold vermicelli noodles as the rice substitute. For Php 180.00, I’d say it’s worth it. I enjoyed it so much that last Sunday, October 9, I went back with my boyfriend, Martin and one of my housemates, Jessica.

I ordered the noodle bowl again (surprise, surprise) but this time I opted for the garlic pork chop (Php 225.00) topping. Jessica and Martin both ordered the seafood Saigon rice (Php 235.00), which is a fried rice dish with seafood, Chinese sausage, and peas. Each serving is enough for two so they didn’t finish their orders but I ate everything in my plate because it was that good and because the vermicelli was not too heavy on the stomach.

I really love Vietnamese food despite their extensive use of cilantro, a herb that I detest. I love the freshness of the ingredients and it’s always a pleasant surprise that the dishes are filling. I have yet to try their pho but for now, I will be satisfying my cravings for the noodle bowls indefinitely. ☺


dZao Vietnamese Bistro, 2nd Level, Eastwood Mall


dZao Menu




Seafood Saigon Rice


Seafood Saigon Rice


Char-grilled Noodle Bowl (Garlic Pork Chop)    



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