Having Grown up in Vietnam, Phil Ho knows what it means to have authentic cuisine from his homeland. Add to that the fact that his sister Trang runs a cafeteria there where she can feed 800 people on a daily and he had a pretty good idea about what it means to run a successful restaurant.
Last month Ho opened Vietnam Bistro a small shop, located at 2221 Route 9 in the Regal Plaza, where he could serve the food he loves without volume of his sister's store. "All my life I was interested in new food and all kinds of different custom's food," he said.
It was a visit by his sister that Ho said sparked his interest in walking away from his career as a mechanic and walk into the kitchen on a full time basis. "I think it's really interesting," he said. "I like to bring new food to the community and help them explore a new food."
Bringing a new restaurant to the Route 9 corridor where there are lots of established places for people to go to, Ho said he looks forward to bringing something new to the area. "I believe now a lot of people are starting to know what Vietnamese food is about," he said. "A lot of people are afraid to try new things, but some customers are not afraid to try new things."
One of the first things Ho suggests people try is Pho, especially the Pho Dac Biet, the house special soup. In a bowl big enough to feed more than one person Vietnam Bistro delivers a delicious broth with rice noodles and beef tender enough to be pulled apart with a pair of chop sticks.
Their spring rolls, summer rolls and egg rolls also bring new flavors, all of which has made opening the restaurant a rewarding experience for the owner. "Like the beginning of everything it takes time," he said. "You have to let the customer know you're there and when the customer knows you're there and they like it they will become repeat customers."
Currently Vietnam Bistro offers eat in and take out options and Ho said delivery could be in their plans for the future.