Two years ago, the restaurant Bún Chả Hương Liên of Hanoi, Vietnam, received a special visit from two very famous, foreign guests. Former President Barack Obama and current touring chef and television personality Anthony Bourdain showed up to sample the humble establishment’s Bún chả. Bún chả is a dish thought to have originated in Hanoi that consists of grilled pork, vermicelli (rice) noodles, and some combination of herbs and possibly pickled vegetables.
Obama and Bourdain showed up with a full television crew to film a segment for Bourdain’s hit show, Parts Unknown on delicious street food. The two reportedly only had to spend $6 on their meal.
The restaurant’s owner Nguyen Thi Lien knew in advance to expect a TV filming crew, but what completely surprised to find the world leader would also be joining the event.
Recalling the president’s manners and charisma, Nguyen had only positive things to say, declaring “Obama was nice, smiling, cheerful and popular with everyone. His presence in our restaurant was a great surprise for my whole family, who could never have imagined it, even in our dreams.”
Wanting to immortalize the moment forever, Nguyen had the table Obama and Bourdain at encased in a display glass. She also set the same dishware, utensils, and furniture that were featured in that fateful meal. Germaphobes worry not, she made sure to thoroughly clean both the utensils and the plates.
Visitors can also treat themselves to the exact meal Obama consumed. Nguyen offers a special menu titled the Combo Obama: Bun Cha with your choice of Fried Seafood or Fried Crab Roll and beverage. You don’t need the wealth or power of a president to eat like one!
She didn’t get a selfie with him, but with a deal like that, it’s as if he never left!
Bourdain posted a response to Instagram that was a little more mixed.