October 31, 1979 is a significant day in our family's history. That's when the Du-Huynh family arrived in Calgary. We were the boat people. Mom (Dung Huynh) was a seamstress and Dad (Don Du) worked in the steel factory. We spent many months at sea and many more months at the refugee camps before finally making Calgary home.
Starting a new life in Alberta wasn't easy. We had to learn a new language, all of the new customs of a different culture and Mom started to miss all of her favourite Vietnamese dishes. We can vividly remember her trying to recreate all of these dishes with very limited authentic ingredients. Cooking in her tiny kitchen always brought a smile to Mom's face, especially after coming home from a long day at work.
In 1983, Mom's brother Allan Huynh immigrated to Canada to live with us. Two years later they both sponsored our grandmother to move to Calgary. It was our grandmother (Kim Truong) who encouraged Mom to share her love of Vietnamese food with others. In 1987 Mom and Uncle Allan opened the first Oriental Phoenix on 17th Avenue SE. Every sauce, marinade, and broth was made by Mom. This practice continues to this day. Nothing is factory purchased. The broths are made from scratch. The sauces are slowly cooked and made from mom's secret recipes. The marinades are a combination of all of Mom's sauces.
Our dishes are based on traditional Southern Vietnamese recipes, the region where our family is from. Southern Vietnam is located near the China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand and features many dishes featuring seafood. The land is very fertile and is abundant in single-family farms that raise beef, pork and chicken. Part of our history is tied to French, Chinese, Indian, and American culture. You can taste each country's influence in many our dishes.
Our restaurant is available for private events: weddings, business lunches, dinners, cocktail receptions, and more. We would love to discuss how to be a part of your next event.