Nguyen is known for preparing multi-course dinners for his friends, and he’s good friends with former Eagle food editor Joe Stumpe and his wife, Carrie Rengers. The two arranged for Nguyen to prepare one of his decadent dinners for Moonen, who seemed pretty impressed.
And who wouldn’t be? Nguyen brought out course after course after course — shrimp papaya salad, plates of crawfish, sweet and sour shrimp soup served in a hot pot, caramel salmon and fresh lychee fruit for dessert.
The highlight was when Nguyen moved the party outdoors to have us grill beef and vegetables on a tiny, tabletop grill and assemble the fillings in rice paper wrappers. Moonen did the grilling for everyone and insisted he was having so much fun, he didn’t care if he got to try any. (He did.)
I was glad that Moonen’s friends arranged for him to visit Pho Hot because it’s one very good example of something Wichita excels in — fresh and flavorful Vietnamese food. We might not have the fine dining Las Vegas does, but when it comes to ethnic cuisine — especially Vietnamese and Mediterranean — we have more than our share of fabulous options
Here are a couple more pics from the evening.