Review: Authentic Vietnamese dining experience at Chi Em Gai

Vietnamese restaurants in the country usually have cà phê sữa đá or coffee with condensed milk on their menus but only a few serve cà phê trúng or egg coffee.

Chi Em Gai, located at Eton Centris in Quezon City, is one of the few that offers this specialty from Hanoi, Vietnam. It's reasonably priced at P139.

Honestly, the concept of having raw egg yolks mixed with coffee sounds weird. But we, in The Eatventurers, were excited to taste cà phê trúng and boy it did not disappoint.

This mixture of dense Vietnamese coffee, condensed milk and egg yolk actually tastes good. The creamy yellow layer on top is quite thick and sweet but it is balanced by the strong coffee taste at the bottom of the cup.

Chi Em Gai serves cà phê trúng with a candle underneath to maintain the temperature of the coffee.

The Eatventurers were also lucky to try the iced egg coffee, which will soon be added to the menu of Chi Em Gai.

The concoction of coffee, egg and ice is served in a tall glass and topped with vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup. Its taste is similar to a coffee flavored ice cream.

Healthy food choices

Chi Em Gai—which literally means sisters—brings healthy Vietnamese flavors to Manila.

Aside from Vietnamese coffees, the restaurant also serves dishes from the country’s laidback north to the bustling south. 

For starters, we tried the fresh spring rolls. Vermicelli noodles, lettuce, mint and a choice of shrimp, chicken or pork are stuffed inside thin rice papers. Chi Em Gai offers goi cuon (shrimp), goi cuon thit heo (pork) and goi cuon ga (chicken).

Goi cuon (shrimp) worth P268

Goi cuon thit heo (pork) - P258

Goi cuon ga (chicken) - P248
The rolls, which are perfect for health-conscious individuals, are served with Vietnamese peanut dipping sauce. 

For those who love deep fried dishes, don’t worry because Chi Em Gai also has something for you: cha gio or Vietnamese fried spring rolls (P109 for 10 pieces). Cha gio is like the elevated version of our all-time favorite Lumpiang Shanghai.

These might be bite-sized but each roll is packed with flavor, thanks to the combination of vermicelli noodles, ground pork, carrots, turnip (singkamas) and tengang daga.

A Vietnamese gastronomic experience will not be complete without having the quintessential pho bo or beef noodle soup.

The broth of Chi Em Gai’s pho is subtler than the ones we tried in Saigon last year—light but full of flavor. Make sure to add some bean sprouts, chili, mint leaves and squeeze lemons for more flavors.

A pho bo bowl for one person costs P149 while a bowl good for 3 to 4 persons and 4 to 6 persons is worth P269 and P439, respectively.

Chi Em Gai also serves noodles in other flavors such as Pho Ga (chicken noodle soup) and pho hai san (seafood noodle soup)

Don't forget to slurp pho while it is still hot. 

Chi Em Gai’s bun thịt nướng or Vietnamese cold noodles with grilled pork (P279) definitely won us over. This bowl of cold noodles comes sans broth and topped with tender slices of grilled pork, crunchy peanuts, bean sprouts and carrots. The meal is a delight to our palate, thanks to the splash of Vietnamese fish sauce.

Also one of our favorites is the tom xau voi rau tron (stir-fried shrimps with vegetables) worth P479. The plate has a generous serving of shrimps and the vegetables are fresh. We will definitely order it again and pair it with rice next time.

We also tried ga trong sot toi mat ong (chicken breast fillet in honey garlic sauce) worth P419. The meat tastes kinda bland (well, it’s breast) so make sure to drench it with enough sauce because that’s where the flavor is.

Aside from these, The Eatventurers recommend xien thit lon or pork skewers worth P269. It's the soft-grilled pork skewers served with the house's special Vietnamese fish sauce. The serving was really hefty and there were veggies like zucchini and bell pepper. We did not feel the need to add sauce because the grilled porks were really good as it is.

Chi Em Gai has a simple yet refreshing dining atmosphere, thanks to the restaurant’s white, light green and wood theme. Scenes of the life in Vietnamese countryside can be seen on the walls through paintings.

Here's a glimpse of their menu:

More of Chi Em Gai in this video:

Giveaway alert!

The Eatventurers really enjoyed dining here at Chi Em Gai and we want you, our readers, to feel the same. So we are giving three P1,000-worth gift certificates. 

Here are the mechanics:

For Facebook users
  1. Dine in at Chi Em Gai Restaurant in Eton Centris. Take some photos.
  2. Comment your dining experience on this Facebook thread: and use hashtag #ChiEmGaiPH.
  3. Make sure to also like our page and Chi Em Gai's Facebook page (we are watching you 👀)
  4. Pray that you win
For Instagram users
  1. Dine in at Chi Em Gai Restaurant in Eton Centris. Take some photos.
  2. Post your dining experience on Instagram, tag @eatventurers and @chiemgai_ph and add hashtag #ChiEmGaiPH.
  3. Make sure to also follow @eatventurers and @chiemgai_ph  (we are watching you 👀)
  4. Pray that you win

But wait, there’s more! Use our code: CVR-EATVENTURERS0062019 to get 20% off on your total bill at Chi Em Gai. Discount is valid for dine-in only for the whole month of July!

Overall Eatventurers' rating: 4/5

Chi Em Gai
Cluster 2, Retail 13, Eton Centris Walk Edsa, Corner Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines 
(Beside Assi Fresh Plaza)

Operating hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Monday to Sunday)
Facebook: Chi Em Gai 
Instagram: @chiemgai_ph
Mobile phone: +63916793347

***Disclosure: Meals were complimentary


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