Zao Vietnamese Bistro

We can’t always take the kids to try different cuisines, but we try our best to introduce them when we have the chance to do so.

Yesterday was one of those evenings when Jay and I found ourselves already hungry while waiting for Pablo to get back from what turned out to be a whole-day event with his former leader and Victory group (Bible Study group for pre-teens).

We’ve been wanting to invite his former VG leader and one of his closest friends, Benj, to dinner with us for months anyway; and though it wasn’t at all planned, we found it to be a good an opportunity for us to ask him to join us while trying out Zao Vietnamese Bistro at Serendra in BGC.

vietnamese-bean sprouts

Zao Vietnamese Bistro

Zao Vietnamese Bistro is sandwiched between popular BGC restos such as Mamou’s, Conti’s, Wang Fu, Saboten and the coffee shop, Toby’s Estate.

The place wasn’t packed when we got there (thank God!), we were comfortably seated near the kitchen bar and showed the menus. The waiters were very light and pleasant.

Menu offerings

The menu mostly showed solo servings, with quite very few platters for sharing with 2-3 people. But the servings are huge, so if you’re not a big eater, I guess you can consider each solo serving for sharing, too.

We ordered Chicken Pho noodles (PHP 225), Chicken Claypot (PHP 225), Garlic Butter Glazed Shrimp served with noodles and cucumber sidings (PHP 275), and Vietnamese Pork Chop with Jasmine rice (PHP 265).

Chicken Pho noodles soup PHP 225

What I think about the food

Judah couldn’t finish his Chicken Pho because the serving was big. He liked the soup a lot and ate a lot of noodles, but didn’t each too much chicken. He’s not a fan of white chicken, that’s why.

We were given a couple of flavored sauces which the waiters said we should add into the soup to add more taste. The kids took one look and shook their heads. Lukas finished most of his noodles and chicken, though. He just didn’t eat the quail eggs.

Benj, on the other hand, added a bit of the non-spicy sauces into his pho and seemed to like it.

I thought Chicken Pho tasted fine.  It tastes like a normal soup and if I ordered it, I know I would’ve finished it. It just wouldn’t be first on my list to order.

Vietnamese Porkchop PHP 265

Pablo finished all his meat, but not before clearing it off the chopped bell peppers that were on it. I tasted his pork chop and I immediately wished I ordered it instead. It was so good!

I didn’t get to taste the Jasmine rice, so I’m not sure if it’s the sticky type of rice. But it sure looked good from where I was seated.

Garlic Butter Glazed Shrimp Noodle Bowl PHP 275

But I also liked my Garlic Butter Glazed Shrimp chargrilled noodle bowl. I just wished it had more shrimps in it, but at the cost of shrimps nowadays, I totally get the quantity.

It was very tasty and I think the shrimps added that special flavor in it.

Jay’s claypot dish looked like Chopsuey on top of a bed of rice. It’s not Chopsuey though, since the vegetables were stir-fried in sweet sauce.

Jay said it was delicious and devoured the entire thing, then proceeded to finish off his kids’ abandoned noodle bowls, hahaha!

Chicken Claypot PHP 225


As for authenticity, I’ve never been to Vietnam (I would really like to go with the family one day!) and it was our first time to eat Vietnamese, so I don’t really have basis for comparison.

If you were to ask me, I think Zao Vietnamese Bistro is undoubtedly  Asian.


The place is classy and the crew were very friendly, pleasant and attended to our needs promptly. You can never go wrong with that, right?

We enjoyed our dinner a lot and hope that someday, we, as a family, get to eat local Vietnamese food in Vietnam, itself.


  • Danica Marasigan

    Vietnamese food is not that easy to like, especially with kids. It’s rare you’ll find authentic ones or those with acceptable tastes. I think Zao is one of them.Im not surprised with the prices, being situated in Serendra hehe.

    For me, Phohoa and Ba nois are okay too. 🙂

    • May De Jesus-Palacpac

      Thank you for the recommendations. Pho Hoa was closed last night. I was hoping to try that one out before, but never had the chance. Maybe in another branch one day. 🙂

  • Monz

    I haven’t been to any Vietnamese Resto, I’m not even sure if I have tasted one of their cuisines Lol! But the photos look appetizing! It makes me wanna eat there now..

  • Rae Argallon

    I always search for ‘that’ foreign restaurant serving a country’s authentic food. I like to try most of them and compare it to when I visited the country. This would be one of my options when I’m feeling Vietnamese! 🙂

  • Blair villanueva

    Zao is one of the good restaurant in BGC. We usually visit it to enjoy their best noodles especially during rainy days. Glad your kids enjoyed ZAO as well.

  • berlin | Momi berlin

    I love Vietnamese dish, too. A favorite is their Vietnamese spring rolls. I could eat a plateful. My mom loves Vietnamese dish, too, but my Firstborn finds them too bland. Havent tried Zao, hopefully soon. And yes, just like you, I wish to try some authentic Vietnamese meal at Vietnam talaga. Soonest.

  • tweenselmom

    For 200+ a bowl, parang ok na ang prices ng dishes nila. Haven’t eaten so much of Vietnamese dishes pero I heard that they are good, lalo na when you eat the authentic ones.

  • Blair Villanueva

    One thing I like about BGC is the availability of various restaurants. I miss ZAO, one of the best in BGC.

  • Wendy

    I haven’t eaten in any Vietnamese resto in the Philippines but you like them so it must be good. There was a Vietnamese restaurant at the ground floor of our apartment in Korea and my son likes to eat there. i

  • Rosie

    I love Vietnamese cuisine! Their spring rolls are especially my favorite. Will add this restaurant to my list and will try them on our next BGC visit.

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