Tim Cook In Vietnam: Can Apple CEO's Visit To Iconic Cafe In Hanoi Replicate Obama And Bourdain's Bun Cha Magic?

Apple CEO Tim Cook is on a two-day visit to Vietnam. While the famed executive definitely will be in the Southeast Asian capital to talk business, he did not miss out on having fun either. 

Cook tweeted a picture of him enjoying his downtime in Hanoi with musicians  My Linh and My Anh. He said in the post, "I loved the egg coffee!"

Cook's Egg Coffee: Vietnamese egg coffee, or cà phê trứng as it is called locally, combines strong dark coffee with sweetened condensed milk and airy whipped egg yolks. The result is a tiramisu-liked goodness that makes this an amazing beverage to try in this part of the world.

Cook was seen seated at Madame Hien Restaurant, known to be on a street in the northwest of the famous Hoan Kiem Lake — a tourist landmark of Hanoi. The building is a French colonial villa, which at one time used to be the Spanish embassy, according to the Flavors of Hanoi website.

It was opened in 2008 by French chef Didier Corlou as a tribute to his Vietnamese grandmother-in-law, according to the portal. The restaurant serves dishes typically found in a Hanoian home.

Obama Was The Pioneer: Vietnamese cuisine is world-famous for its elegance, flavor, and relatively light-weight caloric nature. Former President Barack Obama and the late TV presenter-chef Anthony Bourdain made the family-run Bun Cha Huong Lien famous for dining there back in 2016. They enjoyed Bún chả, a dish made of minced pork served over rice noodles and comes with a dipping sauce. The dish is filled with an abundance of herbs as well. 

Ever since the duo visited the restaurant, it became a global hit within 24 hours as the event was covered by global media outlets, according to Vietcetera, a local online portal.

The report noted the background story of the visit and that the restaurant owners were warned ahead of time by local authorities to expect VIP diners. Apparently, Bourdain paid for that meal.

Now that the restaurant has shot to worldwide acclaim, tourists from the world over flock to it. They even have an Obama combo, which according to Flavors of Hanoi includes bun cha, a crab spring roll, and a bottle of Hanoi beer.

Will The Bun Cha Magic Repeat: Given the popularity found by Bun Cha Huong Lien, there is a distinct possibility that Madame Hien Restaurant will also find itself at the center of attention. During a visit to Hanoi, I too was enamored by Obama and Bourdain and visited the Bún chả place of their choice for a taste. However, from a distance, it does appear that Cook's establishment is a bit more upscale and he did not have to sit on low-plastic stools that are the hallmark of more run-of-the-mill restaurants in Vietnam.

Photo via Shutterstock

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Posted In: EntertainmentNewsRestaurantsTop StoriesGeneralAnthony BourdainAppleApple CEOBarack ObamaBun ChacoffeeEgg CoffeeObamaTim CookVietnam
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