CHECK IT OUT: Ba Noi’s at Greenbelt Mansions, Perea Street, Makati
Just pure Vietnamese homestyle cooking done deliciously
Ba Noi’s: The Fresh Flavors of Vietnam
Greenbelt Mansions, 106 Perea St., Legaspi Village, Makati City
Tel. Nos. 893-7359, 666-1083
Open Mondays to Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Fresh Vietnam flavors inside. Click for more.
(SPOT.ph) For such modest cuisine, much has to be said about Vietnamese food where freshness trumps complexity and comfort wins over sophistication. Ba Noi’s, a gloriously inexpensive nook over at the Greenbelt Mansions, takes such simplicity to heart. In this understated space, flavors-mostly basil and coriander-speak for themselves.
Ba Noi’s means paternal grandmother and the menu, though in incomprehensible Vietnamese, is made up of dishes much like gran’s fuss-free and warm recipes.
Spring rolls come in two incarnations: fresh and deep-fried both at P195 and both addictively delicious. The fresh spring roll, artfully stuffed with pork, shrimp, rice, and vermicelli, is wrapped with rice paper so thin you get a mouthwatering glimpse of the goodies inside. Eat with your bare hands, according to the menu, and dip it in peanut sauce for a layer of sweet nuttiness. There’s a startling crunch with each fresh-tasting, minty bite. The deep-fried spring rolls, on the other hand, should come with a warning: piping hot and requires a bit of artful handling. Wrap the nugget of pork, shrimp, taro, and mushrooms with a leaf of lettuce, then dip liberally with spicy Nuoc Mam sauce.
Then there’s the ever reliable pho, the staple Viet fare as far as the local palate is concerned. The Pho Hai San (P260) is a steaming bowl of seafood noodles sweetened by onions and made lipsmackingly zesty with a touch of lime (each pho order comes with a lime wedge, sliced chillis, black bean paste, more basil, and bean sprouts which customers can add to taste).
The stir-fried spiced beef (P350) is a sleeper hit. Not necessarily top of mind when it comes to Vietnamese fare, these melt-in-your mouth, super-tender savory beef cubes will win over the most skeptical customer. It comes with the now-familiar basil, this time fried to a crisp. Finish it off with the tangy sugar cane juice with lime (P120).
Three years since it opened, this Vietnamese eatery has gained an almost cultish following. Ba Noi’s Dodjie Violago even revealed plans to install an al fresco deck to support the growing clientele as well as rouse its nightlife (Ba Noi’s has a fine wine selection). No advertising, no promotions, just fuss-free, homestyle Vietnamese food. Yes, with Ba Noi’s, the flavors are enough.
Photos by Sasha Lim Uy