Chef Jerry Mai – the owner of Annam and Phò Nom Vietnamese – will apply her experience to a new Vietnamese-style beer hall, Bia Hoi. It will open at the new outdoor dining precinct at The Glen shopping centre, in Glen Waverley, in August.
“I don’t think anyone’s ready for a beer hall in Vietnam unless you’ve been there before. It’s just crazy,” says Mai.
“The table will be full of food. Snacks, peanuts, a char grill going that you grill meat on as you go. You’re rolling rice paper rolls. There’s lots of seafood, sea snails and crabs. It’s just really joyous.”
But more than just the food, Mai wants to replicate the rowdy atmosphere in similar establishments in Vietnam.
“Everything in Vietnam is 10 decibels too loud,” says Mai. “The louder you [are] the more fun you’re having, so the next table gets riled up. All of a sudden there’s all these people cheers-ing. At Bia Ho we encourage you to be loud.”
Snacks to appear at Bia Hoi include crispy pork skin and dried squid, and rice paper rolls and skewers. Four tables will be mounted with electric grills so you can barbeque at your own speed. There will also be a range of “steamboats”: hotpot-style soups to be shared with up to four people. The canh chua broth has a base of tamarind and pineapple and comes with extras such as barramundi, prawns, rice noodles and greens.
Local brews such as Dandenong’s Kaiju will appear alongside Vietnamese classics such as Bia Hanoi and Saigon Special. Every Sunday from 11am to 3pm $55 will get you a two-hour bottomless brunch at which dishes, beer, wine and spritzes will be delivered on trolleys moving through the venue.
The fit-out, by designers Architects EAT, will feature indoor greenery, red brick, rattan and special bamboo and silk lanterns imported from Hoi An.
Bia Hoi will open in August at the Glen, 235 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley.