Refreshing Vietnamese cuisine
This article is from The Star Online (http://thestar.com.my)
AS A student in Canada in the early 1980s, Goh Chye Leng was introduced to Vietnamese food by his friends.
“It had a lot of fresh vegetables and was very refreshing. I just fell in love with it.
“I tried looking for Vietnamese food when I came back to Malaysia but I couldn’t find any that could match what I’d had in Canada,” said Goh, 43.
That was when he and his wife decided to open their own restaurant, since they already knew what they wanted.
Goh left the corporate world in 2002 to start their first restaurant in Damansara Jaya, Petaling Jaya.
The husband-and-wife team currently owns and runs three restaurants in the Klang Valley.
Traditional dish: The Pho Noodles is a traditional offering of mixed beef noodles in soup, served with fresh bean sprouts, basil and mint leaves
The O’Viet outlet in Sunway Pyramid specialises in Pho Bo, a traditional mixed beef noodles served with fresh bean sprouts, basil and mint leaves.
“We boil the soup for 12 hours using imported beef bones, herbs and spices; we don’t use MSG,” Goh said.
The noodles are served with beef fillet, beef balls, brisket and tripe, but Goh said customers could exclude any of the items.
Another O’Viet house speciality is the Deep Fried Sang Yee (snakehead fish).
Goh explained that the fish was deep-fried whole, with the scales intact.
“The scales are crunchy and together with the soft meat, combined with the fresh vegetables and ginger-garlic fish sauce, gives the dish a mixed texture and interesting taste,” he said.
The Vietnamese chefs at the restaurant have also come up with several new items.
New dishes: The Grilled Duck Fillet with Preserved Bean Curd (left) and the Chicken with Sauteed Shitake Mushrooms are new items on the menu and are ideal with rice..
The Stuffed Tomatoes is a Vietnamese version of the French tomates farcies and the stuffing is made with minced chicken and Chinese mushrooms.
“You can have the Grilled Duck Fillet with Preserved Bean Curd with rice, or as a dish on its own by wrapping the duck slices in the lettuce served with it,” said Goh.
A dish with a flavourful gravy that would go well with rice is the Chicken with Sauteed Shitake Mushrooms.
“The mushrooms give the dish a very distinctive flavour that tastes almost like black bean sauce,” Goh said.
Coffee lovers would also want to indulge in a cup of traditional Vietnamese drip coffee that is served in four varying strengths, with or without milk.
“We also have the homemade Lemongrass Ginger Tea, which is also popular with our customers,” he said.
For dessert, Goh recommends the Durian Pancake, which has a low-fat cream filling.
“We use only good quality durians, so sometimes we only have limited quantities when the fruit is not in season,” he said.