travel & lifestyle blog by ruth dela cruz


Going Vietnamese at Zao Vietnamese Bistro

November 25, 2011

My sister and her family visited us here in Manila last month. Malling and simple lunch outs became so special when spent with your family. We decided to have lunch in Serendra since we were also planning of playing Lazer Tag Game in Market Market.

We originally wanted to eat in Conti’s. But dining in at Conti’s means waiting for available table. We were 3rd on the list, and we were already starving – so we thought of checking out the restaurant next to Conti’s – Zao Vietnamese Bistro. We just scanned the menu displayed outside, and we all agreed to go Vietnamese that afternoon.

How to get to Zao Vietnamese Bistro?

It is located at Unit 1C16 Serendra, Fort Bonifacio Global City. It is beside Conti’s, near Starbucks. To get to Serendra, you may refer here.


The restaurant has plain red cushions and creme walls. What do I know about interior design, but it reminds me of zen-type design. There aren’t much fuss and I love the comfy chairs.

Each table has wine bottle which serves as a centerpiece. The tables are already set up with plates, flat wear and disposable chopsticks.

What to Order?

Whenever we eat at new restaurants, we always ask how big is the serving for each dish. We were advised that each meal is good for two persons. We decided on:

Deep Fried Catfish at Php 195

This is really good (and you have to believe me!) because I seldom eat fish and catfish. It is crisp but still tasty and moist.

Zao Fried Rice at Php195 which was not enough for a group of 5 (well, actually there were only 4 adults and 2 kids – but since my 14 year-old nephew eats like a real man, I am counting him as one adult!). We ordered 4 more Jasmine Rice at Php55 each serving.

It is already a dish on itself!

Zao Bowl at Php275. 
My sister ordered this thinking it was all plain noodles and soup, and we were surprised when it was served with spring rolls, beef and pork! The menu is written in English, but I am not certain how she missed the description. Probably we were all very hungry and we wanted everything in the menu.
Looking at the picture makes me sooo hungry right now..

Barbeque Platter at Php495.
We have kids with us – one likes Chicken Barbeque and the other one loves Pork Barbeque. To make peace, we ordered the platter. I am telling you that it is worth the price – so cheap with big servings of barbeques – pork, beef and chicken.

I know it is bad for one’s health, but I loove eating that burnt part!

One of the best-sellers, Angus Beef Ribs at Php495. 
This one is good – thinly sliced, chewy and flavourful. What we love about this restaurant is that all the dishes are served with atsara, vinegar and veggies on the side – something you can munch to give your tastebuds a rest from all that yummy, greasy food on the table.
Spring Rolls – it is FREE! Because I have a Citibank Card (which I used to pay for the bill) – for Php1,000 worth of food.
For drinks, they ordered Freshly Squeezed Dalandan Php95 which is refreshing.
The Lychee Iced Tea is super nice! I love it! I usually prefer having just water whenever I eat but this one is soo good, I enjoyed it with my meal. It’s only Php125 for bottomless order, and I got my money’s worth! Don’t ask me how many refills I requested.

Total Bill

I was charged Php2,170.63 in my card. We got a senior discount for my mom (Php100 something worth of discount). The total bill includes Service Charge. I can say it is super cheap for a group of 5 – and to think we even had take-home bag when we left.


Something that this restaurant needs to improve on. I can understand that the restaurant was busy that afternoon and it took a while for all the orders to be served. We waited more than 15 minutes for the first dish to be served. What is lacking though is the personalized service. The staff is not very attentive to the needs of the guests/customers. Unlike most of the restaurants where waiters/servers are very attentive in refilling the glasses of water/iced tea, I have to call the staff’s attention to get served. What’s frustrating is that when I asked for a refill of water, the server only refilled my glass and just left, without even offering water to the other diners on the table.

I am hopeful the service can be improved. The staff just needs training, and I am glad they are not rude.


Most of the diners are families, businessmen, and office people (on lunch break?).

Dress Code

Come as you are! I came in shorts and I was treated fairly.


If The Fort is accessible to you, you can decide if Zao Vietnamese Bistro is accessible (a wink!).

Payment Options

Zao accepts card (Visa and Mastercard) and cash.


Minimum of Php250 per person.

The Washroom

I don’t think this place has washroom (?), but there is a common washroom in Serendra beside Conti’s walkway.


The service. Just the service. It is not bad at all. Acceptable.

The Verdict

Love the food although I cannot compare it to real Vietnamese food since I haven’t been to Vietnam (grins). Big servings and worth the price. My mom and I are dreaming of it right now. We need to go back!

Have you tried the Zao Vietanamese Bistro? Share your favorite dishes!

Zao Vietnamese Bistro

Unit 1C16 Serendra, Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Metro Manila, Philippines
(02) 856-2819

2nd Level Eastwood Mall Veranda, Eastwood City, Libis, Quezon City

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