Obama’s table at Hanoi eatery enshrined in glass goes on display

Obama’s table at Hanoi eatery enshrined in glass goes on display
In this photograph taken on March 20, 2018, a waitress carries dishes to customers next to the glass-encased table where former US President Barack Obama sat at for a meal with chef Anthony Bourdain at Bun Cha Huong Lien restaurant, now dubbed "bun cha Obama", in Hanoi's old quarter. The table where former US president Barack Obama famously slurped noodles in downtown Hanoi has been preserved -- chopsticks and all -- under a glass box for eternity, in a move that has attracted legions of bemused diners to the once low-key eatery. Bun Cha Huong Lien restaurant, since dubbed "bun cha Obama", shot to stardom in 2016 when the then-US leader took a break from official duties on a Hanoi visit to enjoy a $3 bowl of pork noodles with fried spring rolls with globetrotting chef Anthony Bourdain. / AFP PHOTO / Nhac NGUYEN

Hanoi: Patrons on Wednesday were packed into Hanoi’s Bun cha Huong Lien restaurant which former US President Barack Obama and television chef Anthony Bourdain visited in 2016.

Despite the restaurant’s popularity and limited space, the owners have chosen to encase the table at which the two famous American visitors enjoyed Bun cha — a traditional Vietnamese dish consisting of noodles, broth and grilled pork — to commemorate the meal forever, Efe reported.

The owners have also created a special “Obama menu” featuring the Bun cha and local Hanoi beer the former President and Bourdain enjoyed together.

No matter how busy the restaurant gets, the table, plastic stools on which they sat, the utensils they used, a container that normally stores fish or soy sauce, and two Hanoi beer bottles — similar to those which Obama and Bourdain enjoyed — will remain empty as a tribute to the dinner in 2016, which was immortalised in a documentary made by CNN.

Ever since the image of Obama with beer in hand during his official visit to Vietnam was circulated around the world, this tiny eatery has become a destination spot for tourists and curious visitors, drawn more to its history than to its menu.

The restaurant’s walls are also adorned with photos of Obama chatting with Bourdain during their visit.

The images of the encased table and stools have even reached Bourdain, who shared it on Instagram with the caption, “Not sure how I feel about this”.