Mai Bistro closes; Z Asian Vietnamese Cuisine poised to open


  • Hien Q. Pham
After nine months and at least one favorable review, Mai Bistro on East Colonial Drive has closed.

The restaurant posted a notice on Facebook announcing the closure, though no reason was given as to why.
But just as one door to a Vietnamese eatery closes, another is set to open — and right next door to Mai Bistro, no less.

Z Asian Vietnamese Cuisine was initially to be a fine dining destination, but owner Hien Q. Pham feared it would marginalize Generation Z, from which the restaurant gets its name.

Pham, a systems and software engineer by trade, studied restaurants like Mamak and Hawkers during his concept analysis and decided his restaurant would employ a similar look.

As far as flavors, Pham says Z Asian will serve "authentic Vietnamese food you can drink beer to" along with some Chinese and Thai dishes as well. Think Vietnamese chicken wings, pho, lo mein, orange beef, pad thai, curries and the like.

But Pham will also serve dishes you don't typically see around town, namely slow-cooked duck soup, seafood soup and wonton soup.

"We're dedicated to quality, service, and presentation and not about cutting corners," Pham says.
  • Hien Q. Pham
"You may see the dishes we serve at other restaurants, but we'll prepare them in an authentic manner, so even though the dishes read the same, they won't taste the same."

Pham says he'll have Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai chefs in the kitchen to ensure his vision and commitment to authenticity is realized.

Z Asian is currently in the build-out phase, which will see an outdoor patio area constructed in the back of the restaurant with space for five to seven tables.

Pham expects Z Asian to open sometime in October.


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