[NEW OUTLET] MONVIET AT FX SUDIRMAN: BEST VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT IN JAKARTA

Vietnamese cuisine might not be as popular if you compare that to Western or Japanese cuisine, but I honestly don't think the comparison is needed as Vietnamese cuisine is very different than their "peers". I like Vietnamese cuisine, but there are not many Vietnamese restaurants in Jakarta, and until I actually met Monviet for the very first time, it was a "like" converted to a "love"

I remember receiving this email back in 2013 from someone named Hai who just started his restaurant business (which is Monviet) asking me whether I want to visit his newly opened restaurant back then and had a chit chat together. I would not regret the day I said yes to Monviet because this restaurant taught me a lot of things but the most important two is that Vietnamese cuisine is very delicious, and secondly, when you cook with heart and passion, great result is what you will get, and hello, three years later and three outlets spread around Jakarta. I genuinely feel happy for them.

A brief history about Monviet: back in the 1970s, the owner's mother left the village she lived at to start opening a noodle stall at a corner of a Saigon street, it was her top selling Bun Bo Hue that quickly gather more and more customers to come and even waited in front of her stall before it opened. I honestly do not wonder why. The power of "Bun Bo Hue" was that phenomenal, it was an everlasting recipe that nurtured 9 sons and daughters in the family, and two of them: Hai and Loan are the ones who expand their mom's creation to another state: in a form of a seated-dining restaurant.
I went to the grand opening of their newest outlet in Fx Sudirman and it is the biggest one to date. I think this particular outlet is pretty successful in bringing Hai's vision to life. He has always wanted to create and design the restaurant with rich culture and background value, and I can totally see that from the design and little details like coloring, ornaments, the lamps, even to the condensed milk they're using here, overall it almost feels you're eating in a house and a neighborhood in the same time. On the face of the entrance, you'll be greeted with this dining area "covered" with roof canopy, yellow wall and window. The opposite part of the dining area is where the "greener" and more outdoor vibe is at, even though this restaurant is located at the LG level of FX, you can totally get in from the main lobby as it has its own connecting entrance to the restaurant, from that entrance you will meet the dining area featuring what I would call "the green wall" with plants set on it and a bahn mi bar.

I used to think that Vietnamese food is all about pho, and I should really be ashamed of that. NOW FOOD! Back when they first started, Monviet "only" had 26 types of noodle dishes, and the range is now blowing up darling, and again, they don't only serve Pho here that's what you should know, they also have more than 15 rice based dishes, dozens of appetizers and chef's favorites which I am about to show you, and not to mention, ALL HALAL!

Canh Ga Sot Me - IDR 38k
The glazed deep fried chicken was very saucy, with the sauce being flavorful, beautiful mix of sweet & savory with just a tiny hint of sour flavor, almost like a honey glazed but along with that Vietnamese soysauce flavor character. The chicken was cooked nicely without being overly crispy and dry. What a good dish to prepare your palate.
Nem Vuong Ga (IDR 37k) / Nem Vuong Chay (IDR 30k)
This is one of their new menus, technically square spring rolls and they have the meat and the vegetarian kind for this dish, of course being a carnivor that I am, I opted for the chicken filling one (Vuong Ga). Again, this was cooked perfectly with nice pre-seasoning, it's all about the fresh ingredient and the fish sauce for the dipping.
You just can not come to Monviet and not try their bloody delicious bahn mi! You just can't do that.

Bahn Mi Xa Xiu - IDR 65k
They have several variants for the bahn mi, and my favorite has got to be the chicken chasiu filling (again if you skipped reading, they do not serve pork here). Their bahn mi breads are made using premium ingredients with the right crunchiness on the coating (like I don't know the right way to explain the crunchiness, it's crunchy but not dry crunchy) and fluffier center. Inside you'll also find pickled veges, cucumber, celery.
So what makes their pho really special? I think it's the rich amount of seasoning and herbs infused to the soup. All the ingredients for their pho (and most of the food) are imported straight from Vietnam and they've done it ever since they opened their first outlet in Lippo Mall Kemang. Some of the local ingredient's quality just did not live up to their standard.

Pho Dac Biet - IDR 79k
Let's check out Hai and Loan's mom legendary noodle soups! This Pho includes the combination of fresh sliced beef, briskets and meatballs. The soup was very fragrant, and if you have eaten Pho before, you probably knew that Vietnamese Pho always comes with side vegetables and fragrant leaves, the reason behind the separated serving is simply because not everyone likes to have the vegetables mixed, so it depends on their preference for having or not having it. The soup is really tasty, it's made of beef bone that's been slow cooked for 14 freaking hours. If you haven't seen what Pho noodles look like, it is linguine like, only it comes in white color and softer.
Bun Bo Hue - IDR 76k
NOW THIS IS IT! The recipe that has been alive for more than 4 decades, that one very food that could nurture the founder's 9 kids and is now the best selling menu here in Monviet! It's the Bun Bo Hue! The main powers of the Bun Bo Hue are on the very rich and tasty soup (14 hours of boiling and including the flavor & aroma from ingredients like Ngo Gai (Thorny coriander) and Rau Ram (Vietnam coriander), and the fresh high quality beef brisket cooked perfectly to a beautiful level of tenderness, while you can change the noodle as you desire, the default serving was the rice vermicelli. It's one of my most favorite menus here in Monviet, and if you're a virgin to Monviet, this is what you should order. Don't forget to add in their homemade chili, since I am into spicy food, I think it really elevates the flavor to another level. It's my go-to food when it's raining and a bit cold outside (well I'm lying because I can have this anytime that I want FU), but seriously it's so good I running out of words to actually emphasize it enough!
Some of the new menus launched by Monviet are the hot pot rice! There are four new ones available but I got the chance to sample the Com Tho Xa Xiu (chicken chasiu) and the Com Tho Ga Cay (chicken and red chili)
Com Tho Xa Xiu - IDR 74k
Claypot rice with honey soya sauced cha siu as toppings. The chicken slices were pretty tender and they carry this beautiful flavor, the mix of savory, salty and sweet like chasiu typical flavor.
Com Tho Ga Cay - IDR 72k
Now this has got to be my favorite menu from the rice dishes! It's pretty spicy but it's generously and richly seasoned that I wouldn't mind having just the rice and the red chili sauce dressing! It's a MUST TRY!!!
Secret menu...ssh! Only I know!
I love getting a little experimental with the food here because I just love playing with my sense and inkling. I had a good feeling that the Pho Dac Biet should be perfect to pair with the Bun Bo Hue soup, and OMFG it did! The first time I had it I was blown away and this has been the food that has to be my order everytime I am here. Believe me when I say I can go to Monviet 2 times a week! I don't know if they will let you get this, because most of the staffs here know me and I am very used to ordering this all the time so I guess that's the privilege I have here! Hashtag #everything.
I can seriously talk about Monviet for a long long time like a folklore and how they've grown bigger in the past three years. They are one of the most genuinely passionate people that I've ever known and I wish they never change and badly driven by "business". I will always be one of Monviet's biggest supporter, and I really hope that you guys -whoever you are reading this right now - if you've never tried Monviet before, YOU BETTER! The flavor of the food here is basically the representation of their passion and love: really delicious and genuine.

Gosh typing this post right now is a bloody pain in the ass! I am really hungry right now.
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Monviet at FX Sudirman
FX Sudirman Basement lvl
Jl. Jenderal Sudirman, Pintu Satu Senayan
Senayan, Jakarta Selatan 10270
Opening hours: 10 AM-10 PM
Average spending for two: IDR 300k
Dresscode: casual
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