Zao Vietnamese Bistro: For when you want more than Pho

Food at Zao Vietnamese Bistro

As anyone who has been online recently is aware, Pokemon Go is making headlines all over the Philippines and the world.While trainers all over the country are collecting hundreds of Pokemon and battling over gyms, my sorry account is stuck at level 4 due to the lack of Pokestops and Pokemon in my area. Just look at how I seem to live in a desert devoid of life:

The desert that is my home
To this reason, my cousins invited me to eat in a place in the middle of the metro: Shangri-la Plaza in Mandaluyong City. We chose a restaurant that was conveniently located right above a Pokestop: Zao Vietnamese Bistro. Zao is located at 5/F Shangri-la Plaza Mall, East Wing.

Not too long after, we started to get a lot of commons (such as Pidgeys), which I didn't mind too much because anything I get now is better than what I can every get at home and at work. Well, enough about Pokemon Go, and let's get on with my first food blog entry.

Zao Vietnamese Bistro serves Vietnamese food staples, such as spring rolls and pho, while adding a modern touch to its dishes. The area was well-lit and the servers were dressed in classy Vietnamese Ao Dai. While waiting for our orders, we continued to catch a lot more Pidgeys and Spearows. I sure hope they don't use these birds in their food.

Appetizer Sampler P565
First, our Appetizer Sampler came in and since we were starving, as you can see in the photo, it has been heavily reduced. The actual serving size is around twice of what's in the photo. It comes with Fresh Rolls, Spring Rolls, Pork and Chicken Satay, and Sugar Cane Shrimps. The Fresh Rolls and Spring Rolls are as you would expect from similar Vietnamese restaurants, but I especially enjoyed how juicy the Pork and Chicken Satay was.

Zao Satay Platter P395
Another sampler on our table. It comprises of pork, chicken, beef, and shrimp satay, all equally delicious! I'd say this one offers a better value than the previous sampler.

Crispy Spring Rolls P245
We wanted more of the spring rolls from the appetizer sampler, so we ordered another plate of them. You can never have too much spring rolls!

Garlic Butter Glazed Shrimps (P275)
I loved how sweet and juicy their shrimps are. The crunchy garlic also adds a nice touch and it's not bitter like how others cook their garlic so it goes well if you eat it with the shrimp.

Zao BBQ Platter (P575)
Comes with all sorts of poultry glazed in BBQ sauce. Excellent for meat lovers! The porkchops were kind of tough but still good overall.

Deep Fried Catfish P245
The fish had more bone than meat but one can mix all the greens together and pour some of the ginger sauce for a nice salad :))

We also had Grilled Chicken Salad (P225) and Chicken Pho (P225).The salad had a mix of of cabbage, basil, cilantro, roasted peanuts and chili in a spiced lime vinaigrette. It's pretty spicy considering how I was surprised since I just put a bunch in my mouth expecting it to be only mildly spicy. And finally, one cannot complete their Vietnamese experience without ordering Pho. Sadly they didn't give beansprouts and mint with the soup like Pho Hoa. I'm wondering if they just forgot about it since it had a photo with the beansprouts and mint in their menu, or it's really not included.

We didn't get to order any dessert as most of them were sold out, but we enjoyed the appetizing fare we had while catching Pokemon. They currently have an ongoing promo with BDO where you get a free Satay Platter for a minimum single-receipt dine-in purchase of P1,500. I would definitely come back next time if I'm in the area and craving for Pho!

Name: Zao Vietnamese Bistro

- Unit 1C16 Serendra, 26th St Fort Bonifacio, Taguig (02) 856-2819
- Eastwood City Walk 1, Eastwood Ave Bagumbayan, Quezon City (02) 470-7587
- 5/F Shangri-la Plaza Mall, East Wing, Shaw Blvd Wack Wack, Mandaluyong (02) 942-0785
- Promenade Greenhills, Service Rd Greenhills, San Juan (02) 705-1066

Menu: Click here

As we have said, Tableopolis is a place where food and board games meet, so this food meetup wasn't just for the Pokestop. It was for us to obtain these other games to play and review in the next few days:
Special thanks to Keena
Thanks for reading and please look forward to our board game reviews :) Comments and suggestions are welcome!

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