Le Family @ SM Aura

The name doesn’t exactly make you think of the country of Vietnam or anything related to it, but Le Family is actually a Vietnamese restaurant. Although a tad modernized, they feature authentic Vietnamese noms, if we’re basing it on the number of actual Viet diners who choose to eat there (a good bunch).

Le Family is located at the topmost floor of SM Aura, along the row of restaurants that lead to/make up the Sky Park, where you get an excellent view of the city. I’ve been eyeing it for a while because their prices seem reasonable and the ambiance looks homey but other more traditional restaurants have always won the where-to-eat-for-the-night coin toss for one reason or another.

Clockwise from top left: Fresh Spring Roll or Goi cuon tom thit (p168), Crispy Squid or Muc chien xu (p260), Fresh Spring Roll or Goi cuon tom thit (p168), Fried Rice with Salted Fish and Chicken or Com chien ca man ga xe (p180)

It finally got bumped up recently and I was finally able to sample their noms.  I’ve been to Vietnam a total of once and from that one trip, I’ve associated Vietnamese food with vegetables, coffee, and pho (pronounced like “fuh” rather than “foh” or god forbid, “foe”). Minus the coffee, Le Family has all these and a bunch more. They have a pretty varied selection of Vietnamese dishes on their menu including a whole section dedicated to barbecues, which I didn’t really expect. Apparently, they like barbecues too.

Clockwise from top left: Beef Soup with Beef Tenderloin or Pho ba tai (p200), Chicken with Honey (p230, Beef with Lemongrass or Bo nuong xa cay (p280), Fried Beef with Chili Oil or Ba xao sa te (p280)

For appetizers, they’ve got Fresh Spring Rolls or Goi cuon tom thit which is amazexxorz. The roll is made up of a healthy bunch of chopped lettuce, carrots, sprouts (I think), and usually some shrimp or pork wrapped in a soft, transparent, almost jelly-like wrapper. Dipped in a spicy-ish peanut-ish sauce, it is a yummy vegetable treat. Srsly, these fat, healthy rolls are enough to keep me going back to Le Family.

Tried their pho too, of course, particularly the Pho ba ta or Beef Soup with Beef Tenderloin. An order is good enough for sharing, if you have other dishes among your group. The soup base is a little tastier than expected, which is actually a good surprise (a little too tasty is better than too bland).

Fried Pork or Ba roi ap chao (p280)

Most of the noms were good, refreshingly different from the typical (Chinese/Pinoy) dishes we usually go for group meals. My favorite of the bunch that we tried is the Ba roi ap chao or simply, Fried Pork. You would think this is nothing special, fried just pork liempo is available in most local restaurants after all, but you would be wrong.

Ba roi ap chao is the bombest of the bombs. If Ba roi ap chao were a person, I’d probably be hanging on to its every word completely enamored and I’d be screwed because I’d give it everything I have. It’s not simply fried pork belly, the Ba roi ap chao is super thinly sliced belly of pork seasoned with a bunch of secret, delicious, and I’m pretty sure magical spices. It’s yummy, simply put. Writing about it actually makes me want to drop work for the day altogether and go there to order this one dish. And rice of course, I’m Asian, hello.

The good

  • Relatively healthy noms.
  • Tasty Vietnamese noms.
  • Good service.
  • Affordable meals.

The bad

  • Some dishes are too salty.
  • Uniformity, some days one dish is too salty, other days it can be perfectly seasoned.

The bacon

4 out of 5 bacons! It’s a shame that we don’t get many Vietnamese restaurants in the city because Vietnamese noms are  healthier than most other cuisines (except rabbit of course) but are quite tasty. Thankfully, Le Family adds to the short list. Although some orders can be a hit and a miss, on the whole, Le Family still gives you a good selection of yummy Vietnamese noms.

Le Family

5/F SM Aura Premier, Mckinley Parkway
McKinley Hill, Taguig

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