The chaolangan in Puerto Princesa could be one of the most enduring legacy of the Vietnamese refugees. They are the ‘boat people’ who once sought and then found a temporary (which became permanent later on) home in Palawan. Most of them however, have either resettled in the US or went back to their home country. But there are also a few of them who chose to remain at the Viet Ville in Santa Lourdes which is located in the outskirts of the city.
If you could not make a short stopover there, then you might want to try one of these many Vietnamese restaurants in the city. Ivan Henares featured Rene’s Saigon Restaurant and Bona’s Chaolong House. I tried out Co Anh Pho, an establishment that specializes in FilViet cuisine. This was recommended by way of a casual conversation with a new contact in PPS.
It is located a block away from a major intersection along Rizal Avenue. At first glance, it would easily pass off as just another eatery down the road. But I learned that this humble restaurant has a steady following in Puerto Princesa. In this case, looks can always be deceiving.
I got a merienda serving of Beef with Noodles for the chaolong and French Bread with Pork Barbecue for the banh mi. The meat was not tender enough for my liking. But I liked how the mint leaves added a kick to the spiciness of the soup. The Vietnamese sandwich, on the other hand, tasted better than an overpriced fastfood burger. Unfortunately, I forgot the prices of the dishes, but I remember paying just a little over than Php100.00 for my first foray into Vietnamese food.
Co anh Pho
Carandang St., Cor. Lacao
Puerto Princesa City, Philippines