A CHEF has brought some family-inspired cuisine to the Southsea area.
Michael Lugia, 45, was born in Vietnam. Both of his parents were Chinese immigrants living in Vietnam.
He grew up eating traditional Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine, which inspired him to set up his first venture, Aroma Oriental Restaurant in Havant.
The success of Aroma and his 25 years experience as a chef gave him the confidence to create this second business, Bubble & Pho, which opened recently on Albert Road.
Michael said: ‘The menu are options which are all close to my heart and steeped in my family’s history.
‘The great thing about Vietnamese food is that you have lots of healthy, gluten free and vegan options.
‘It’s something I think will go down well in a trendy place like Southsea, packed with adventurous students and the cool crowds.’
Michael’s brothers and sisters are all based in the UK and have tried Michael’s food.
He said: ‘I personally have to say that it isn’t my recipe, it’s a family recipe. But the family have tried my food and say it is delicious, which is a relief!’
One of Michael’s favourite options on the menu is the tender beef pho or the ‘bubble tea’.
He explained: ‘Bubble tea is becoming more and more popular.
‘It’s sweet, almost like an iced tea, but you can have it as a fruit or ice tea.
‘It has these delicate little pearls at the bottom of the cup which burst with flavour.’
To anybody thinking of getting into the food industry, Michael said: ‘If you want to become a chef, make sure that you do not stop cooking.
‘I strongly believe that, if you stop, you can become rusty.
‘I keep myself cooking every day to maintain a high standard and to watch how flavours can develop.’