Wu Hai, the female owner of "Wuji Vietnam Pho" restaurant, married and relocated to Hualien from Vietnam in 2003 and established this restaurant with her fellow sisters. In the beginning, she was worried that people in Hualien might not be accustomed to the hot and sour flavors of Vietnamese cuisine. Fortunately, many customers kindly provided feedback and encouraged Wu to modify her recipes to accommodate the Taiwanese palate. With time customers turned out to embrace the cuisine, and the restaurant also began receiving delivery orders from students and office workers.
The signature dish at this restaurant is beef pho. Wu imports the chewy pho from Vietnam and adds a variety of ingredients, such as beef, radish, and fresh shrimp. She places a slice of lime on the top to make the whole bowl of pho look like a small hot pot. In addition to pho, Vietnamese instant noodles and egg noodles are also popular dishes.
The "Vietnamese Pork Ribs" are accompanied by red yeast rice and Vietnamese soy sauce; the side dish is lettuce, topped with a refreshing fish sauce, which is known as the soul of Vietnamese cuisine. There are two kinds of spring rolls: fried and cold. The stuffing of the fried spring rolls includes Hualien taro, which is dense and sweet. The cold spring rolls, stuffed with rice noodles, fresh shrimps, and cucumbers, are soft and crispy. Both spring rolls go very well with hot and sour sauce for an authentic Vietnamese flavor.
Wu says, "The leisurely pace and living environment of Hualien allow me to enjoy both beautiful scenery and the convenience of life." In her free time, she often goes to the seashore, Liyu Lake, and Meilun Mountain for outings. She also likes to buy fruit and drinks at Dongdamen Night Market. She picnics at Nanbin Park to enjoy views of the boundless Pacific Ocean. In addition, after the park was renovated, new pieces of romantic installation art were added. At night, when the lights are soft and bright, many tourists flock to the park.
She says, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to bring Vietnamese cuisine to Hualien. You are all welcome to visit Hualien for sightseeing. Not only are there many food and accommodation choices, but it’s also a very safe tourist destination.”
Wuji Vietnam Pho
Address: 1-1, Minguo Rd., Hualien City, Hualien County 970, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Opening Hours: 11:00–21:00