I don't really have a rabid fondness for Southeast Asian cuisines especially the Malaysian, Thai, and Vietnamese food that whenever I went into a buffet, they are always at the last of my to-devour list.
For one, I can't fully understand their taste identity, it seemed like a Chinese incorporated with middle eastern tanginess. Second, I am a bit apprehensive when a restaurant claimed itself a bistro(French bistro or Italian bistro or Vietnamese bistro) because they gradually lost the culinary authenticity of their geographic specialty.
Bagging that apprehension with me, I adventurously joined the Tales of the Tongue gastronome team in the Zao Vietnamese Bistro at the Eastwood Mall.
We were graciously welcomed by the minty aroma of the Vietnamese cilantro that further accelerated my appetite.
Crispy Spring Roll(Php195 + 10% SC) - pork, glass noodles and mushrooms served with lettuce wrap. The way to eat it is to warp the roll with lettuce. We did not.
Spicy Lemongrass Tofu(Php175 + 10%SC) - hot and spicy tofu sauteed in chili lemongrass glaze. This is MobilityReel's favorite and he can tell very well if it is sourced from a premium tofu.
Homestyle Braised Pork(Php225 + 10% SC) - spareribs and quail eggs simmered in caramelized soy glaze.
Saigon fried Rice(Php195 + 10% SC) - fried rice with seafood and salted egg. This is too salty for my company. But not for me. My high tolerance on salty food dates back on my younger years in Cebu where most of our meals are complemented by dried something(dried fish, dried squid, etc).
Saigon Fried Rice(Php215 + 10% SC) - shrimps, Chinese sausage, and peas.
Here is a rule of thumb I discovered in my hey days of pigging out: when a restaurant tells you their serving is good for 2-3, it's essentially just good for 2. So conversely, for us(me and MobilityReel), it's just good for one. You now understand why we ordered two kinds of rice servings.