Accomplished chef brings best of Vietnamese street food to casual kitchen & bar in SOHO neighbourhood

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November 18th, 2013

 

Recently opened (August 2013) in Hong Kong’s fashionable SOHO dining and lifestyle district, Chôm Chôm is the new iteration of chef and co-founder Peter Cuong Franklin’s original Chôm Chôm- a private Vietnamese kitchen that launched in 2011 that garnered considerable acclaim among discerning Hong Kong foodies since its inception. Developed in a collaboration with new Hong Kong restaurant group- Black Sheep Restaurants- chef Peter created a concept that embraces the traditional Vietnamese bia-hoi culture of street corner beer drinking, eating and people watching. Chôm Chôm serves a menu, adroitly assembled by chef Peter, of regional Vietnamese street food dishes, cooked in an open kitchen within the compact interior of the casual and vibrant neighbourhood cafe. Consistent with the bia-hoi concept- the bar at Chôm Chôm serves a broad selection, regularly updated, of popular regional Vietnamese beers; plus a compact list of Vietnamese -inflected cocktails, and wines by the bottle or glass.

Chôm Chôm inhabits a street level space adjacent to a busy street corner in SOHO- and with its full glass facade that opens up onto the pavement- with guests spilling out onto the pavement on busy nights- deftly embodies the bia-hoi concept. Open daily from 6pm (4pm on weekends), Chôm Chôm operates a no reservations policy, and with only 45 seats available at the bar counter and interior tables, some waiting- with drinks served- on the outdoor pavement is likely on busy evenings.

Chôm Chôm cuisine
In an improbable career transition from investment banker to chef and restaurateur, in 2008 chef Peter undertook classical French culinary training at the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu institute- graduating with a Grand Diplome de Cuisine and Patisserie. Deploying his sound grounding in French cooking techniques into a contemporary interpretation of traditional Vietnamese street food, chef Peter has crafted for Chôm Chôm a menu of innovative yet authentic renditions of popular Vietnamese street food dishes. Typifying his culinary style are signature dishes such as Grilled Beef in Betel Leaf- a flavoursome combination of beef, curry, shallots, peanuts, spring onion;  VFC- Vietnamese Fried Chicken wings, deep fried with garlic, coriander, and mint- a popular snack dish to accompany beer; and Cha Ca Hanoi- charcoal grilled White Sole Fillet, turmeric, dill, served on a bed of vermicelli. Other dishes on the menu are organised under categories of Small Bites, Rolls, Salads, and Specialties from the Charcoal Grill. The enthusiastic culinary team at Chôm Chôm readily engage with diners sitting at the “L”shaped bar counter that wraps around the compact open kitchen- contributing to the vibrant, convivial atmosphere of the neighbourhood eatery.

Complementing the distinctive flavours and fragrances of the dishes, the beverages at Chôm Chôm are centred around the selections of regional Vietnamese beers and European draft beers. A concise list of cocktails incorporate distinctly Vietnamese flavours with ingredients such as lemongrass, lime, mint, and calamansi. Signature cocktails include Far East Smash- a combination of sugar cane-infused vodka with lemon juice and cane juice syrup, garnished with mint leaf; and Pho-jito, a spicy take on the classic mojito- with Pampero Blanco, lemongrass syrup, lime juice, mint and Thai basil, finished with pepper soda.

Inside Chôm Chôm

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Front section of Chôm Chôm – the marble topped bar counter wraps around the open kitchen- several grey marble cafe tables occupy the compact space between the bar and front windows.

 

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The decor of Chôm Chôm follows a clean and uncluttered approach evoking a classic French cafe aesthetic- with timber paneling, white walls and ceiling – and with large framed mirrors to add volume perception to the interior. 

 

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Kitchen team prepping before the evening dinner service. 

 

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Head Chef and co-founder- Peter Cuong Franklin

 

Selections from Chôm Chôm kitchen & bar

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Pho-jito - Pampero Blanco, lemongrass syrup, lime juice, mint, Thai basil, pepper, soda. (Signature cocktail)

 

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Saigon Sour- Beam Black, pineapple juice, lime juice, agave nectar syrup, egg white. (Signature cocktail)

 

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Selection of Vietnamese regional beers

 

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Grilled Beef in Betel Leaf- Beef, curry, shallots, peanuts, spring onion. (Signature dish)

 

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Cha Ca Hanoi- White Sole Fillet, Turmeric, Dill, Vermicelli. (Signature dish)

 

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VFC- Vietnamese Fried Chicken wings, garlic, coriander, mint. (Signature dish)

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See also 2015 update article

 

Chôm Chôm- Vietnamese bia-hoi bar & kitchen in Hong Kong

Address:  G/F, 58 Peel Street, SoHo. Central. Hong Kong
MTR:  Central- Exit D2 -take  Mid-Levels Escalator to Staunton Street
Inquiries: +852. 2810 0850
Website:   www.chomchom.hk
Facebook:   ChomChomHK
Opening hours: 
Monday to Friday  6:00 pm ~ 01:00 am
Saturday & Sunday  4:00 pm ~ 01:00 am
Attire:  Casual