Food, Mood, and Art: Twisted Vietnamese Cuisine Arrives in Manila! Check out Propaganda Vietnamese Bistro

Hungry Pho Vietnamese cuisine? Straight from the heart of Saigon, Propaganda Vietnamese Bistro is now in the Philippines with a simple mission—to challenge what we all thought we knew about Vietnamese cuisine. 

Though I have yet to discover the actual country (I've never been there though, huhu but I hope I will soon), they say that entering Propaganda Vietnamese Bistro is like a little trip to Vietnam. From the lively décor to the style of service, everything in the restaurant is treated like art. The idea, after all, is to provide an experience that goes beyond dining. But more than the interiors, it’s really the food that showcases their artistry.

Gone are the notions that Asian cooking is purely traditional at Propaganda Vietnamese Bistro, where the goal is to serve twisted Vietnamese food. They do this by using traditional ingredients in a creative way, adding a modern spin without going into fusion. 

Of course, being the first international franchise outside Vietnam also has its challenges, according to Avigail Chua of Noodlerama Group in the Philippines. She mentioned that there were a lot of things that needs to be done to keep up with the use of exactly the same ingredients with Vietnam. For instance, seeds from herbs are imported to keep the authenticity of dishes.  

There are also a wide variety of rice preparations that Filipinos are not exactly accustomed with. Take for example, the Propaganda Edamame Salad, which also has organic black rice and oven-dried cherry tomatoes. The menu is filled with curiosities from brown rice in spring rolls to avocados in noodle salads. It’s like a Vietnamese kitchen from a parallel universe.

Every dish is made from scratch, using only the freshest ingredients imported from Vietnam to maintain authenticity. There are no shortcuts—the kitchen avoids all artificial flavorings, premixes, and purees. Hence, the food is not just delicious, but also good for the health.

A Taste of Modern Vietnam

There’s enough in Propaganda to satisfy every adventurous palate. It’s easy to get hooked on the Crunchy Tri-Coloured Rice Bowl with BBQ Chicken, or bite into the goodness of the Bánh Mì Paté that’s packed with braised pork floss, cilantro, grilled vegetables, and chilli mayo. For those who want something refreshing yet filling, there’s the Propaganda Bún with home-made lightly fried egg tofu, ginger, chili & peanut crunchy topping. Avigail highly recommends the tri-coloured rice bowl with Shrimp, which she said is one of her favorites.

Of course, an authentic Vietnamese meal wouldn’t be complete without the noodle soups. The restaurant also offers variants of Pho and Huế Rice Noodle Soup that are guaranteed to satisfy your appetite for adventure.

Meanwhile, the Homemade Frozen Banana & Coconut Bar as well as the Homemade Soursop (Guyabano) and Palm Sugar Ice-Cream will give you the ultimate Vietnamese dessert experience.

There are times when all you need is a quick perk-up, and here’s where the Vietnamese’s famously strong Cà phê sữa đá (Vietnamese Iced Coffee with Sweetened Condensed Milk) comes in handy. You can also buy a bag of whole beans from the store to enjoy at home. It's quite addicting and I would be more than happy to go back from time to time just to enjoy this drink (goodluck if I can still sleep lol).

Propaganda Vietnamese Bistro
also houses a bar with wide array of drinks customers can choose from. Taking cues from their history with the French, the restaurant strongly recommends the R de Roubine, which comes from Southern France and can be ordered by glass or by pitcher. The subtle hints of roses and white peaches is a good ending to a meal of prawns, chicken, and vegetables. For something closer to the local palate, Engkanto Lager Draft is also available.

Propaganda Vietnamese Bistro is now open at Level 2, Greenbelt 5 in Makati City (beside Chili's and Krazy Garlik). For more information LIKE PropagandaBistroPH on Facebook and FOLLOW @PropagandaBistroPH on Instagram.

About Propaganda Vietnamese Bistro
Born in Saigon, Propaganda Vietnamese Bistro is known for its artsy interiors and serving authentic Vietnamese cuisine with an added twist. The restaurant tweaks the use of traditional ingredients to add a modern spin to some of the well-loved dishes in Vietnam without sacrificing authenticity.

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Disclosure: All views expressed in this article are from the author.

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