This is a tribute to a Vietnamese restaurant whose value was overlooked until it has closed, and has morphed into something new somewhere else.
Your grand looking restaurant with high ceilings to match your tasty Vietnamese cuisine will be missed from the streets of Pasay Road in Makati, where you have been replaced by a sushi bar / steak house combo whose goods are yet to be tried to see if they are a worthy dweller.
What will be missed from you? The fresh flavors of Vietnam. It is as diverse as any cuisine in the world, but probably your location among all the sprouting restaurants of another oriental origin was just too much to take.
By Vietnamese, something like your Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Spring Roll), that even if lacking any meaty savory components, is still delicious, especially when accompanied with the spicy sauce that can be smothered at the owner’s delight.
Steamed shrimp with noodles, wrapped in lettuce, and then finally enclosed in a thin rice wrapper, this was a refreshing, healthy start to the taste of Vietnam.
And even your Thit Heo Nuong Xa (Grilled pork chop belly marinated in lemongrass), whose faint seasonings have a pleasant complementing flavor with the citrus characteristic of lemongrass, and the pork naturally having a neutral flavor to allow any spice and salts to be highlighted in the dish. The cooking so tender to keep the juiciness locked in until unleashed by a bite.
Not everyone seemed to like it though. Taste of lemongrass not really everyone’s cup of tea?
But if there was a particular item in your menu that will be in the hearts of your fans forever, it will be your Naked Crab.
With its meat all scooped up, shredded and piled into a plate, and with the shell perched decoratively with toasted garlic, even crustacean allergic individuals find the urge to tease death or unbearable itchiness by taking a little morsel of goodness. The demise of these water dwelling creatures has not been in vain.
But your departure does leave a void for those who still seek this a bit nearer their place of work.
However the market may not have been ready for the flavors, stuck in their crispy chicken sandwich wars. Or it may have been that the local government made it too hard for you to stay. Or maybe just that the area prefers a different cuisine? Whatever the reason for your departure, it is a great loss for those in the Makati area.
Yet not all is lost, for you are now in a new place, but just with a new name. The people behind Aquaknox have opened Xoi Vietnamese Kitchen in BF Homes in Paranaque, Alabang Town Center, Muntinlupa, Philippines. Just a bit of a drive for people who are not from the south of Metro Manila.
Maybe a resurrection somewhere back in the Makati area soon?
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