First established in Bali since 2014, Bo & Bun has finally set its site in Jakarta. Choosing Pantai Indah Kapuk as its first home in the city, Bo & Bun introduces contemporary Vietnamese cuisine as well as a mixture of Asian dishes to the neighbourhood.
Jakarta has had its fair share of bland pho and hard-as-a-rock banh mi, so it’s quite reasonable for one to expect less from Bo & Bun even before stepping into the premise itself. Nevertheless, a quick flick through the menu reveals that the establishment does take the flavours seriously – ‘The 12 Hour’ Pho and Banh Mi Thit with pork belly that is cooked for 18 hours will make you look forward to the taste themselves.
And the sight does not disappoint as well, as most food comes in bright, appetising colours of red, green, yellow, and orange. Furthermore, Bo & Bun doesn’t skimp on their offering, for each portion arrives in a wholesome, satisfying size.
The food in Bo & Bun is typically party-in-your-mouth affair, where various flavours and textures meet. As mentioned earlier, the Banh Mi Thit with its soft pork belly is paired with crispy baguette, pickled carrots and jicama. Also, ‘The 12 Hour’ Pho, which refers to the 12 hours cooking method of the pho broth resulted in a fragrant soup. And, although it’s not exactly a Vietnamese dish, the Bulgogi Fries (fries, chopped kimchi, beef bulgogi, Sriracha garlic aioli) is mandatory for fries fiend and is a good company to any main dish.
The casual and straightforward Vietnamese dishes in Bo & Bun are combined with dimmed, moody interior inspired from a French bistro. Brick walls and rattan chairs are paired with marble tables and chandeliers, and a few eclectic decorations that are thrown in for good measure, all sourced from Bali.
Bo & Bun might seem distanced upon your first glance with its semi-formal interior and all, but there’s a familiar feel to it, like going back to your favourite haunt. It’s the kind of place that doesn’t require a sophisticated dress code where you can casually hang out with friends over a hearty bowl of pho.