Viet Nam News
Wherever you are, the thing you miss the most is your hometown. For Vietnamese who visit other countries, finding a Vietnamese restaurant is a gift.
After three weeks away from Việt Nam on an exchange programme, I missed my hometown so much. I missed the places, my family, friends and of course the food. I had planned to find a Vietnamese restaurant before I went to Singapore but was lucky to discover Huỳnh Quang’s lovely eatery called “Sunny Việt”.
I was with two friends from Hong Kong – Jason Lee and Angeline Jia. We were on a trip to Merlion Park to enjoy the festive atmosphere. Everything in Singapore is magnificent and the food good if not slightly expensive, but deep down, I missed Vietnamese food.
We walked to Merlion Park to find a place for dinner. Because the food there is so expensive, Jia suggested we visit “Lau Pa Sat” (18 Raffles Quay Street) where there are many small, inexpensive restaurants.
Yummy: This tasty chicken phở is a taste of home.
When we entered Lau Pa Sat, I couldn’t believe my eyes, Sunny Việt was right in the middle.
Like other restaurants in Lau Pa Sat, Sunny Việt is placed in a cozy wooden booth with four big tables. There are many pictures of phở (chicken or breef noodle soup), smoked duck phở, bún bò Huế (Huế-style beef noodle soup), spring rolls for S$1.5 (US$1.1) each, and others. There were familiar smells of onion, soup, mint leaves, beef and chicken.
I ordered a bowl of chicken phở for S$5 ($3.69) and my two friends chose bún bò Huế which was S$5 ($ 3.69) a bowl. After 15 minutes, Quang, the shop’s owner, brought out three irresistible dishes. After the first mouthful, I was amazed at the wonderful taste.
Quang’s brew was just like the flavour of phở in Hà Nội. The rice noodles were soft and smooth and the soup was featured by sweet broth of chicken bones with a touch of chicken fat. Every piece of the chicken itself was soft, delicious and the taste was exactly like phở back home.
Quang said all of the ingredients were imported from Việt Nam, so that is why everything tasted so good.
My two friends who tried bún bò Huế were also delighted. “I’ve never tried anything like this before, now I know that Vietnamese food is good,” Lee said.
Jia, who has a wide knowledge of food, described how good it really was: “First, the noodles were really unique, it was quite thick like spaghetti but made from rice noodle so when I chewed it, the sweet rice melted in my mouth and created a savoury flavour.
Second, the soup was spicy but in a very special way, it was a combination of steamed bones, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, purple onion and chili. I was really impressed with the pig’s trotter and the pork pie. I’ve never tried this before and it looked weird at first but turned out the flavour was really good, the pork was really delicious mixed with peppers.”
Quang opened Sunny Việt seven years ago right after graduating from university. "It all came to me like destiny, through many years living away from Việt Nam, I witnessed not only myself but also many Vietnamese who worked and studied here. We all missed Vietnamese food so much. From that, I came up with an idea of opening a Vietnamese restaurant.”
We said goodbye to Quang after buying some spring rolls to enjoy as we watched the Singapore National Day rehearsals. VNS