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  Culture

Vietnamese food in Japan

Vietnam nem

Food stalls at a Viet Nam cultural festival held in Yokohama, Japan, on June 4-6, attracted big crowds of visitors, contributing to the success of the festival.

Together with the growing flow of Japanese tourists to Viet Nam in recent years, Vietnamese food has become familiar with the Japanese, especially those in big cities. In Tokyo, Vietnamese restaurants are booming under such names as Ao Dai, Nha Viet Nam (Viet Nam House), Bong Sen (Lotus), Miss Sai Gon, Viet Nam Alice, and even Ech Viet Nam (Vietnamese Frog). The business seems to be brisk looking at the sheer number of customers.

"Pho" (rice noodle) and "Nem" (spring-rolls both fresh and fried) are the most popular Vietnamese dishes among the Japanese, while coffee-lovers in this choosy country find Trung Nguyen coffee most to their liking. Knowing this, food stalls at this year's Viet Nam festival concentrated on serving mainly these dishes. The Pho stall manned by the ladies at the Vietnamese Embassy in Tokyo attracted the biggest crowd of both Vietnamese and Japanese. This Pho had a distinctive northern flavour, quite different from those served by Vietnamese eateries in Tokyo, which carried a southern flavour, and also because it was cheaper.

Long queues were also seen at the stall selling Trung Nguyen coffee. At 120 JP yen, or over 1 USD a cup, the stall earned thousands of USD a day. The brand has become more and more familiar to Japanese people, and has been featured in many reports by both the Japanese and foreign media.

VNA - (09/06/2004)


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