From Vietnam to Whidbey Asian cafe opens in Bayview

A trip south for noodles and other edible Asian delights might be in order for North Whidbey residents.

Chung Tran recently opened his Basil Cafe in Bayview.

Chung Tran recently opened his Basil Cafe in Bayview.

A trip south for noodles and other edible Asian delights might be in order for North Whidbey residents.

The Basil Cafe, a Pan-Asian Grill and Noodle Soup House, opened in late February in the Bayview Cash Store, located off Highway 525 south of Freeland. It’s located in the space formerly operated by the 3Cats Cafe.

Basil Cafe offers a fresh, wholesome, and creative menu, inspired by a variety of Asian cuisines include Vietnamese, Thai, and Korean.

“We use only the freshest ingredients and produce available and prices are affordable,” said owner and head chef Chung Tran in a news release. “Great service is important to us. My wife Cathy and I want our customers to feel at home and like family when they walk into our restaurant.”

Chung will be familiar to many Whidbey Islanders, who have had to travel to Mukilteo to enjoy his cooking at his Vietnamese restaurant Pho Huy. South Whidbey resident Marti Anamosa and her husband are big fans of Chung’s. “We’re so happy to hear he’s opening a place at Bayview. His food is fresh, creative, and will satisfy the many cravings for more diverse, ethnic food here on Whidbey.”

The Basil Cafe’s owner and chef began his culinary training at the age of 15 in southern Vietnam. His brother Ken and sister Tiffany were the first family members to emigrate to the U.S. in 1979 as part of the refugee exodus after the fall of South Vietnam. His parents could not afford to send anyone else.

In 1989, Chung and two other brothers were allowed to leave Vietnam and joined Ken and Tiffany in Hawaii where they worked in the restaurant industry as chefs and managers. In 1999, all Tran brothers moved to the Seattle area to continue as restauranteurs. They currently own and operate both Mukilteo’s Pho Huy and The Ginger Palace by SeaTac airport.

Chung looks forward to joining the Bayview Corner family of businesses. “Cathy and I have wanted to move to Whidbey for a long time. We couldn’t believe our luck when this space became available. The Cash Store is a beautiful building, welcoming, and very community oriented. This is what we want Basil Café to be as well!”

Goosefoot, the non-profit owner of the historic Cash Store, couldn’t be more pleased to welcome the Basil Café as their newest tenant. According to Chris Hurley, Goosefoot CEO, “When we have retail space available, we look for tenants who will complement other businesses at the Cash Store and who will offer a needed service or product to the community. We’ve hit the jackpot with Chung and his restaurant. We hope everyone will join us in giving Chung and his family a big welcome to Whidbey Island.”

Visit the Goosefoot Web site at www.goosefoot.org or call 360- 321-7898 fore more information. The restaurant is be open six days a week for lunch Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and for dinner from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Local wines, sake, and Vietnamese, Thai, and Chinese beers will be available. Reservations recommended for the weekend.

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