Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development




By Liz Barrett Foster

Share on Facebook  Share on X (Twitter)  Share on Pinterest  Share on LinkedIn  Share thru Email  


Matt Ho

Customers of Bodega SF can’t get enough of the Whole Fish Cha Ca, a best seller at the Vietnamese concept. Translating to “grilled fish,” cha ca hails from the Hanoi area, but Matt Ho, Bodega SF Owner, and his team have reimagined the classic dish, using whole branzino in place of more traditional sole or catfish fillets.

The branzino is butterflied and deboned before being marinated in dill, galangal and turmeric, with yogurt acting as a binding agent. To lock in the flavor, the fish gets a hard sear on the stove, a seven-minute cook in the oven and a finishing char in the salamander.

“This traditional dish is always served with a side of vermicelli noodles, lettuce, Vietnamese herbs and two sauces: fish sauce and shrimp paste,” says Ho, who provides family-style service at Bodega SF. “Some people like to make lettuce wraps, while others prefer to add all the ingredients into a bowl.”


About The Author

Liz Barrett Foster

Liz Barrett Foster is a corporate content writer, editor and B2B trade writer focused on food, restaurants and marketing. [email protected]