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Bringing authentic vietnamese to regina SK

After taking a family trip to Vietnam in 2015, Barbara and her family decided to introduce authentic & traditional Vietnamese cuisine to Regina. Infused with her knowledge and culture about Vietnam, she opened Quán Ngon in hopes of not only sharing her country's hidden dishes, but to simultaneously promote and preserve the rich Vietnamese culture within the Regina community.

CBC SASKATCHEWAN | Regina Bites : Quán Ngon

When Barbara Truong, the matriarch of the family and the driving force behind Quan Ngon Delicious Vietnamese Restaurant, passed away suddenly in December, it could have spelled the end for the business. Then, in August, the Regina eatery closed its doors amid rising COVID-19 cases — this after reopening following the initial pandemic shutdown. But through a tireless effort fuelled by love and devotion, Barbara’s husband, Andy Truong, and daughter Alex Truong have kept Quan Ngon going in her memory. 

“My mom was always a great cook,” said Alex. “Her food was always very fragrant. There was so much depth and detail in the way that she made it. I would tell her she had a knack for it, but she would accuse me of being biased because I’m her daughter.” 

 

Regina Leader-Post: Quán Ngon

Barbara moved to Canada as a child in 1979. She lived in Vancouver until two years ago, but visited Regina often as she has five brothers here. Her visits inspired her to open Quan Ngon — pronounced something like Wang Gnong — even though she had no restaurant background. “I came here to visit them a couple times and I tried other Vietnamese (restaurants), but it’s not authentic. They mix with Thai and other stuff,” she says. “So I said OK, there should be at least one (authentic) Vietnamese restaurant.”

Between 2012 and 2014, Truong travelled across Vietnam, a country that’s geographically about half the size of Saskatchewan but has a population of 92 million.Quan Ngon’s menu reflects the variety she found.Subs and fresh rolls are eaten across Vietnam. Pho is available nationwide, too, but the regional flavours vary. Ginger is a staple in the cold north. Spice is big in central Vietnam. Fish is common in the south, near the ocean.

Barbara’s goal in opening Quan Ngon was to cook for the local Vietnamese community. The food she serves is the food she eats — a bowl of pho every day, she says.

“I like people to give it a try to know what real authentic Vietnamese means to them,” she says.“We just felt that giving good quality, reasonable price, and I can’t think of (a reason) that my customers won’t come back.“I just want every other nationality to give us a try.”Each dish on the menu comes with a different homemade sauce. For fresh rolls, it’s peanut sauce with crushed peanuts, hot sauce and shredded carrots.Unusual in Regina, the fresh rolls are made the traditional Vietnamese way. The open ends save eaters from bites of thick and chewy rice paper.Tables are set with chopsticks, forks, knives and soupspoons in a mug of hot water, which Barbara says keeps them extra clean.Stop in early for a sub and a strong coffee. Sweetened with condensed milk, it tastes like coffee ice cream.

Quan Ngon is open seven days a week at 227 Victoria Ave.

Read Leader-Post Article Here

founder of quán ngon

remembering barbara

With a heavy heart, it was announced Barbara sadly passed away on December 6, 2019. However, the legacy she has left behind through her determination and perseverance will always be remembered and forever cherished. She is survived by her husband Andy, and daughter Alex, who promise to keep her passion and hard work going. Barbara has touched many lives and warmed many spirits through Quán Ngon, and it is now our duty to honour her memories by remembering the joy, warmth and smiles Barbara had spread to the Regina community in the time she was with us.

Barbara opened Quán Ngon in February 2016 and up until December of 2019, she was almost always at the restaurant, every single day, greeting and serving her lovely guests. Her one of a kind soul will always be cherished.