12 January 2018

Chi Fong ~ Vietnamese - Eating World Food Court, Chinatown

Chi Fong in Eating World Food Court adds a bit of variety to the usual offerings with a mix of Vietnamese dishes. Barack Obama would approve.

In 2016, Barack Obama and Anthony Bourdain had dinner together. This was a totally structured, organised event, full of security checks and paid actors in the background. Even the owners of Bun Cha Huong Lien in Hanoi were warned that someone big was coming and asked to make sure the ingredients were faultless on the night (to avoid giving the President food poisoning.) Their response to this request was classic - they always used the best quality ingredients, so why do anything different? Indeed.

The meal they ate together was bun cha, a grilled pork dish served with a sauce, pickles, rice vermecilli and spring rolls. And they had a beer. Bourdain paid the exorbitant bill of $6.

What happened next was instant fame for the already popular restaurant and the meal itself, recreated in Vietnamese restaurants around the world as the 'Obama Set'.

Chi Fong in Eating World Food Court has picked up on this and recreated the Presidential dish, just without the beer (you can get one at the Centa Bar though). No. 12 The 'Obama Set' at $12.80 is a mix of the pork patties and grilled pork slices in a gently chillied broth, a side set of rice vermicelli, sliced spring rolls and loads of lettuce leaves to wrap and dip. This serve is a lot of food, filling for just one so is great to share.

No 7: Chargrill marinated chicken with rice and soup $11.90 looks like not much food spread over such a big plate, but the peices of chicken were tender and had some bits of char on the edges. A little bit of sauce, nuoc cham or similar would have gone down well with it.

No 18: Half rare pho and half chicken pho $11.90. Well, this one sounded like an intriguing mix. Was it a half and half broth? Half meat? Turns out you choose your pho base and then the meat is divided half and half. It's a beauty, plenty of protein and a not so sweet soup, northern style.

If you don't want to go the full bun cha set, then you can just get the spring rolls separately for $2 each (minimum of three but we magically got just one)

Since Phuong Special Vietnamese closed, a Vietnamese bread roll option in Eating World had been missing. 

While the price is middle range for the CBD at $6.90, the roll was filled with good BBQ pork that lifted it above the usual simple cha lua served with salad. 

Chi Fong is at Shop 208, Eating World Food Court, 25-29 Dixon St, Haymarket.

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