I’ve never been to Vietnam but I can tell you that Vietnamese food are amazing. I had Vietnamese friends and they were so into foods, totally. Almost all the girls knew how to cook. They went for shopping and cooked their own meal regularly. Sometimes, they shared the food and let me tasted how it was. Even, I joined them to made dishes like Bánh xèo (Vietnamese pancake) and Bánh ú (Vietnamese ricecake). It was amazing.
Because of that, I planned to go to Vietnam and strolling around the city for its food. I wrote this on my to do list but forgot about it for this past one year, until one of Vietnamese restaurant in Bali remind me of it. Bo & Bun, it is how they named it.
“bo & bun bali: small restaurant with ITS affection for food”
Bo & Bun Bali is one of those three Asian restaurant running under Eat Company Bali, two other restaurant named as Lantern and Bowl Mama. This food company founded by Ines Putri Tjiptadi, Balinese beauty queen who formerly crowned as Miss Indonesia 2012. She fell in love with Vietnamese cuisine in Australia and the journey didn’t stop there. Bo & Bun was established in 2014 as her affection for food.
The dining interior is resembling a French restaurant where it is small, full of wooden chairs and tables. Photograph of children taken at rural area are hanging on the wall, giving a traditional touch to the ambiance. Besides, you’ll also find outdoor area which is more green, located right in front of the restaurant.
“Additive home cooking food are served on the table”
What being served on the table are those home cooking food that they usually cooked and eat by themselves. No wonder, Bo & Bun is found to be addictive especially for local people. Those who sit, sip a glass of Vietnamese coffee and have a bowl of their pho noodle will mostly come back.
Bo & Bun only have little choices of menu, vary from salad, braises, grilled, bun, and wok cooking. If you read the menu carefully, you’ll know that they did experiment to modify the authentic Vietnamese cuisine into their version, and picked the best to be served. Other than Vietnam, Chinese, Thailand and Korean choices are available as well.
“Started in vietnam, ended in vietnam”
Bo & Bun Vietnamese coffee was a great idea to spend with while waiting for the food. Dripped of the coffee let me indulge myself in the authentic taste of typical Vietnamese ones, strong and bitter. It was a clear start of my culinary journey at Bo & Bun. It’s started in Vietnam.
Bo & Bun, how they named the restaurant somehow give me a hint that once I lifted my fork up, I had to dig in their Bun first, no matter what. Bao Gao Pork Belly is one of their best bun that let me flew away to China. The twice cooked pork belly was cooked to perfection in exotic traditional taste of soy sauce over with hoisin sauce— sweet and salty at the same time. Additional fresh coriander, sliced chili, and cucumber pickled gave a Vietnamese twist on the bites.
Moving my fork to other dish, bowl of Bo & Bun Bulgogi Fries was ready to accompany me exploring Korea. This fusion appetizer consist of ground beef bulgogi, french fries, kimchi, and piped of Sriracha garlic aioli on the top. It was bit spicy, sour, sweet, and crunchy— all together making an interesting taste combination.
For refreshment, Lychee Blossom is one of alternatives you could have in Bo & Bun. It resembled mojito in appearance but tasted different —dominantly sweet with a bit sour and minty. This drink use soda water instead of alcohol and give additional lychee syrup, fresh lychee, lime, and mints.
Back to the place where it’s all started, Vietnam. Most popular signature dish at Bo & Bun was totally enlighten my day. It took less than a minute for The 12 hours Pho to be my favourite above all. What made this dish special was the broth that cooked for 12 hours. This broth then used as soup based, rich in taste and even better when I mixed in the sriracha, hoisin sauce, and lime drops. Another best part of this dish was the sliced tenderloin and beef shank— well cooked and tender. The 12 hours Pho served in hot with rice noodle, meatball, sliced onion, coriander, bean sprout, thai basil, and sliced chili.
Those who are not in the mood to eat soup on the sunny day, I recommend you to pick Bun Bao Xao, an authentic Vietnamese salad that traditionally served as main. This bowl of salad available with choice of lemongrass marinated chicken/pork/tofu. It is served with rice noodle, pickled carrots and jicama, cucumbers, lettuce, beansprouts, coriander, thai basil, mint, fried shallots, crushed peanuts, Vietnamese spring rolls, over with sweet-sour-salty of Nước chấm dressing. I got a choice of lemongrass chicken as protein and it’s totally delicious. The rough texture of lemongrass on the outside part were well marinated to the inside, leaving aromatic taste for the chicken.
Closing the dine elegantly, I had very nice dessert on the plate, Banh Flan — which is french creme caramel of smooth vanilla custard. This dessert is so French, originally called as Flan, the opposite of crème brûlée. Instead of having burnt caramel, Flan or known as crème caramel has a soft liquid caramel on top. Bo & Bun give a hearty touch to this international dessert by adding Vietnamese coffee and crushed ice. It totally become Vietnamese style dessert, marking my final destination for that day culinary journey. It was ended in Vietnam.
“where to experience this little vietnam”
Going around plates at Bo & Bun leaving a memorable taste that make me want to visit them again. It’s been a week after my visitation but my mind keep thinking of their food, especially The 12 hours Pho and Bao Gao Pork Belly. Price at the restaurant is slightly high but it’s guarantee the taste. You could find Bo & Bun at Jl. Raya Basangkasa no. 26, Seminyak. It will easy to reach it by walk, the restaurant is right across Circle K, between Eat Well and Cafe Moca.
BO & BUN BALI
No. 26 Kuta, Jl. Raya Basangkasa, Br. Basangkasa, Badung Regency, Bali
Everyday, 09.30 – 22.30
10% government tax, 5.5% service tax
Yes, out door area
Limited for motorcycle, no for cars