“Bawai” is the Vietnamese term for ‘grandmother’. It also happens to be the nickname of one of Bawai’s Vietnamese Kitchen’s owners, Yong Tatlonghari. Bawai’s first opened up in Tagaytay back in 2007, with a second branch opening up in White Plains in 2013.
Bawai’s White Plains branch used to be the home of a veteran actress, so as expected, the interior gives off an intimate, sophisticated, homey vibe.
Menu: Entrees (ca nuong xa ot, com suon cha, bo nuong xa, tom nuong me), Noodle soups (bun buo hue, pho bo kho), Dry noodles (bun tam), Desserts, Beverages, Appetizers (goi cuon, banh cuon, banh xeo), Salads (bawai’s salad, goi rau muong).
Our appetizer was the Cha Gio – Crispy fried spring rolls filled with minced pork, chicken, veggies, and herbs. Served with slices of lettuce and a tangy chili dipping sauce.
I had the usual Pho Bo – Beef noodle soup with slices of tenderloin and oyster blade, mixed in with herbs and spices. The noodles were flat, but had a firm consistency. The soup was warm and refreshing, with a nice, clean aftertaste.
Dad had the Curry Ga – Slow-cooked chicken in curry-infused coconut milk, with thin slices of onions. He kept praising the dish, and even ordered extra rice/soup. This is a very big deal for me (and mom) since most of the time, he never really enjoys the food in the restaurants that we visit.
Hu Tieu – Seafood pho with a pork-based broth. Also includes slices of pork belly, squid, crab sticks, and shrimp.
Banh Da Lon for dessert – A nice and warm cake made from pandan and yellow mung beans. I wanted to try this dish because I thought it was an actual cake, hehe. It was still delicious, though.
Ca Phe Sua Nong – Hot drip coffee with condensed milk at the bottom. Disappointed that we never got to try their iced coffee.
Salted Caramel Ice Cream – I really like how the sweetness of the caramel wasn’t too overpowering. Good, but we should’ve tried their basil ice cream instead.
I really liked Bawai’s warm atmosphere, as well as the fact that I was able to enjoy authentic Vietnamese cuisine (all thanks to Yong Tatlonghari’s Vietnamese roots). I would highly recommend this restaurant if you want to go on a fancy dinner date, or just eat some great Viet food.
Food: 4.5/5 (taste), 4/5 (presentation)
Bawai’s Vietnamese Kitchen is located at 79 Katipunan Avenue, Bellitudo, White Plains, Quezon City. Tel nos: 442-8874, 0917-885-1445. You can also find them in Silang, Cavite.