Taste Vietnam in every bite

BEING new in Davao, one can really see how diverse the food scene in the city is. From lines of Chinese restaurants and stalls of Indian foods, Davao sticks to being the home of delectable cuisine. So it is not a surprise that new restaurants are being opened here every now and then. But a Vietnamese restaurant among the ocean of Chinese and Indian restos? Sounds intriguing.

The Viet Café, owned by Vanessa Piezza and Lionel Lariosa, is a Vietnamese street food inspired cafe. They specialize in milk teas and Vietnamese pho's and banhmi's. The café opened last November 2016 and is the first Vietnamese street food cafe in Davao City. All the ingredients in their food, from milk tea bags down to cilantro, basil and other spices, are shipped from Vietnam to attain its authentic flavor and taste.

Strategically located near University of Southeastern Philippines (Usep) on Cervantes Generoso St. Bo. Obrero Davao City, students and workers alike can enjoy a taste of Vietnam. It opens from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily. We can enjoy late lunch or a sumptuous Vietnamese-inspired dinner while being in the comforts of Davao streets.

The place is very cozy and has a very rustic vibe to it. It is really "homey" and has this earthy tone. The place can cater individuals or small groups. I do hope they can get a bigger place so they can accommodate more customers. While we were there, all seats were taken.

The owners along with their staff are very hospitable as well. They always make sure that their customers are well-accommodated and comfortable. The service is also done fast but in a good way though it may vary sometimes depending on the number of orders the customers take. Nonetheless, we never got bored as we waited for our order – the food is worth the wait.

My company and I ordered Matcha and Mint milk tea (P65 and P55 respectively), Lemon Grass Chicken (P109) and their new Pho Bo (P129).

Their cups of milk tea are all natural and you can even see the tea bag inside the cup. The lemon grass chicken consists of freshly baked Vietnamese baguette filled with special house blend lemon grass chicken, rich patte, cucumber, cilantro, pickled radish and carrot with special sauce. Their Pho Bo, which is made up of Vietnamese flat noodles, beansprouts, cilantro, herbs and spices and topped with beef strips, is perfect for cold and chilly evening.

What I loved the most is their presentation. Their sandwiches and noodles are very instagram-worthy and their portion is very big. I can honestly say that after eating, I’m very satisfied and full.

Overall, the experience is very exciting and fun. Who would’ve thought that I can taste and enjoy Vietnamese food along the streets of Davao? Their service is commendable though I would suggest adding more chairs and tables, their prices are also good and food portions are very big. Worth a second visit? Definitely! (Dave Alocelja, Salve Bana-ay, Marielle Timkang, NDDU Interns)
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