We are beyond thrilled to bring Australian-Vietnamese chef / person of the world, Bao La, back for another pop-up at Que!
This edition, Bao created a Lunar New Year’s Eve Reunion Dinner menu for Tất Niên Tết. A little bit decadent—this feast is intended to be shared with friends and family; to celebrate the end of the year and bring good wishes for the year ahead <3.
With much consideration and intention, Bao selected ingredients for their symbolic associations. Bao draws from his six years of experience living, working, and building several successful restaurants in Hong Kong, his family life back in Australia, the fresh produce of his current home in Đà Lạt, and the multitude of places he’s frequented in between.
The result is a menu that incorporates a little bit of each place—using locally sourced ingredients, hand kneading dough for lucky dumplings and longevity noodles, stuffing spring rolls with hamburger filling (!!) and tossing salads as high as ceilings will allow.
We hope you can join us and Bao in closing the year and celebrating the upcoming year of the Ox with lots of peace, happiness, prosperity and longevity!
From Bao's Perspective
With an emphasis on supporting local farmers, Bao takes us on a journey with him. From his afternoon visits to local wet markets in Đà Lạt, then back to his favorite place, his home kitchen; where singular ingredients acquired that day are turned into dishes that evoke memories and pay homage to those who’ve inspired him along the way.
Zooming with Bao La
We spent an afternoon zooming with Bao from his home in Đà Lạt—listening and learning. Below are some snippets of that conversation :).
Bringing inspiration from his six years of living and cooking in Hong Kong, his upbringing in Australia, the fresh produce of his current residence in Đà Lạt, and the multitude of places he’s frequented in between, Bao has created a menu that incorporates a little bit of each place. This menu is Bao and what he likes to eat on the reunion day for friends and family to gather and celebrate the ending of the year and bring good wishes for the coming year.
What is Tất Niên Tết?
Tiệc Tất Niên is a party and celebration to mark the end of the year and prepare for the year ahead. It is part of a Vietnamese ritual that takes place on the last days of the lunar year. It is also a time for friends and family to gather, spend time with each other, and share a meal together.
Bao La x Que Tất Niên Tết Pop-Up Date:
Friday, January 29 and Saturday, January 30
Bao La Pop-Up Time:
QUE UPSTAIRS OPENS:
Thursday to Saturday
QUE UPSTAIRS HOURS:
Thursday to Sunday
12-7pm or by appointment
Our boutique downstairs will be open until 10pm during Bao La's pop-up on Friday & Saturday!
118 Pham Viet Chanh
Phuong 19, Binh Thanh District
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Lightning round of one word answers:
Karen: How would you describe your 2020?
Karen: What do you want to encapsulate in 2021?
Karen: What are you most looking forward to about Tết?
About Bao La
Australian-Vietnamese chef Bao La grew up in his parents’ humble Vietnamese restaurant, Kim Thanh, in Brisbane. Here, family recipes and traditional Vietnamese cooking methods formed his culinary foundation.
As an adult, he initially pursued a ‘safe’ career in Finance, but soon realized his true calling was in the kitchen. Through a series of Twitter exchanges, Bao landed a position with the Merivale Group, working with celebrated Australian chefs Dan Hong and Jowett Yu. After working at their acclaimed Sydney-based restaurants, Mr. Wong and MsG’s, La followed Yu to Hong Kong to open Ho Lee Fook with Black Sheep Restaurants.
After 2 years as sous chef, at the ‘funky Chinese kitchen’, chef Bao opened Le Garçon Saigon with the group. The wood fired Saigonese grill house was the first of its kind in the city and introduced Hong Kong to the rich diversity of Vietnamese cuisine beyond phở. Following the restaurant’s success, he opened Le Petit Saigon, a widely popular banh mi take away. La’s time in Hong Kong was categorized by a passion for expanding the perceptions of Vietnamese cuisine. But he was also becoming a champion for sustainability in the restaurants and beyond.
Through the years, Bao became more in tune with the negative impacts the restaurant industry had towards the environment. Bao fought for changes in the restaurant scene in Hong Kong by initiating recycling programs, reducing organic kitchen waste, eliminating the need to single use plastic within kitchen operations, moving away from commercially farmed produce and supporting local farmers.
In early 2020 with covid19 striking the world, Chef Bao relocated to his parents’ hometown of Đà Lạt, Vietnam. With an aim to learn more about the future of sustainable farming in Vietnam and to further his culinary knowledge.
Links: @bao_la and La Family Farm