Typical Vietnamese dishes like “phở” noodle soup, spring rolls, summer rolls, and sandwiches called “banh my” are now available in many restaurants across Russia, including the Ligov restaurant in St Petersburg and Cafe Bo in Moscow. These restaurants have become popular with many Russians.
|Pho noodle soup at Ligov restaurant |
Since it opened early this year, Ligov restaurant has been attracting fans of Vietnamese food from all over Russia. The restaurant’s menu includes beef noodle soup, spring rolls, grilled pork and noodles, and northwestern barbecue.
Ligov’s executive director Pham Manh Cuong, who has 16 years working in the restaurant business, says he loves his job because it allows him to promote Vietnamese cuisine to his Russian friends.
"We had problems in the beginning, but everything has gotten better since the World Cup season began. We get a lot of customers from Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, and Singapore. Ligov’s owner is passionate about Vietnamese cuisine and wants to promote Vietnam’s cuisine and culture to the world.", said Cuong.
The day’s first group of customers arrived at the restaurant at 8:30 am. They were football fans from Vietnam who came to Russia for the World Cup. After a 10-hour night flight, they looked much less tired after eating a bowl of pho at Ligov.
"This restaurant’s pho is amazing, very close to the authentic dish in Vietnam. I noticed that all the customers finished their pho, leaving nothing in the bowl. That’s better than good for a restaurant," fan Nguyen The Duong told VOV.
Cafe Bo, owned by Tran Manh Hung, has a prime location beside the Moscow river. Customers enjoy an amazing view of the river in summer with cruise ships going back and forth.
"This is my first visit to the restaurant and it’s wonderful. I’ve been to many places in Vietnam like Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and Mui Ne and I love the Vietnamese food. I just ordered beef noodle soup and a mango smoothie. I find the restaurant’s location wonderful," said Aleksander, a Russian customer.
Vietnamese Cafe Bo’s owner Tran Manh Hung said more and more Russia are visiting Vietnam and have loved Vietnamese cuisine. They often come to Bo to find the taste of the authentic Vietnamese food they had enjoyed during their trips to Vietnam.
"To ensure the authenticity of our dishes, all the ingredients are imported from Vietnam, including the various kinds of herbs. Our fresh rice vermicelli is made daily by a shop we trust. Our cook and most of our staff are Vietnamese," said Hung.
In addition to typical Vietnamese dishes, Cafe Bo offer diners specialties like Saigon beer and Vietnamese mango smoothies to give them a taste of Vietnamese street food. During World Cup 2018, the restaurants is serving as many as 800 bowls of pho daily, and earning around US$16,000 a day.