Happy Tummy

Restaurant Review: Zao Vietnamese Bistro

It was in Serendra when I first tried this restaurant a few years ago and I remember quite clearly that I enjoyed the food there. Having tasted their Pomelo Salad and Rib Eye Steak, I knew I’d be back after a while to try their other dishes (if after a while meant 5 years after then yeah I was definitely back after a while! 😂)

I usually go to Pho Hoa or Ba Noi’s when craving for Vietnamese dishes. This time though, I randomly thought about my Zao Vietnamese Bistro experience and told myself why not! So last Saturday, I suggested this restaurant to my friends for our dinner. We went to their Greenhills branch as it was near to where we were that time.

The restaurant has this classy ambience with those elegantly set tables that were evenly spaced, giving diners enough room to breathe. Plus the beautiful lighting was adding to the coziness of it all. Really nice! Though it would’ve been nicer if they do something about their air conditioning. Too bad I wasn’t able to take pictures of it.

The mandatory group shot before we started the feast…

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I was to get their Pomelo Salad but it was unavailable so I went for the Green Mango Salad (P265) with grilled angus beef and basil. The mangoes were supposed to be cut into thin strips, right? What happened here? Haha! It was good nonetheless. I loved how the sweetness of the beef and the sauce complemented the tanginess of the mangoes.

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Chicken Pho (P225). A Vietnamese experience wouldn’t be complete without getting a pho. Having tried the chicken noodle soup in Pho Hoa, which is my favorite, this I must say was a disappointment. I wasn’t sure but it’s like something was missing. Even the condiments that came with the bowl didn’t change anything.

PS: You seriously need to try Pho Hoa‘s Chicken Noodle Soup (Pho Ga) and Ba Noi’s Beef Noodle Soup (Pho Bo). They are both amazingly good!

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Zao Barbeque Platter (P575), a sampler of their barbecue specialties such as BBQ chicken, BBQ spareribs and BBQ beef tenderloin. Aside from being tender and juicy, there was nothing really special about it. There wasn’t a tinge of sweetness that I always look for in my barbecue. It was a bit bland.

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Grilled Honey Tenderloin (P395) topped with scallion oil and roasted nuts. It was only when we have placed our orders did I realize that this dish was already included in the platter. What were we thinking? Haha! So, yeah, I have the same sentiments as above.

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Don’t we just love meat? We ordered for their Shaking Beef (P395), cubed filet mignon seared with garlic, tomatoes and onions. It was remarkably tender and moist. The taste, however, was kinda similar to the barbecues but sweeter.

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Caramelized Garlic Prawns (P395) wokked in caramelized garlic sauce. It was also bland just like the rest of our orders. Also, we had a hard time removing the shell off the shrimp.

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The portions were huge and were good enough for 2-3 persons. They were very filling, but sorry to say, they were not too fulfilling. I’m not trying to be a Vietnamese cuisine expert here. I just know the difference between good food and the bad one. You can trust me on that. 😊

LOCATIONLevel 1, Promenade Greenhills Shopping Center, Ortigas Ave., San Juan

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