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​Sadness at Vietnam noodle shop where Bourdain dined with Obama

Sunday, June 10, 2018, 09:54 GMT+7
​Sadness at Vietnam noodle shop where Bourdain dined with Obama
Patrons enjoy ‘bun cha’ at the restaurant which Obama and Bourdain visited in 2016 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: AFP

The owner of a Hanoi noodle shop where Anthony Bourdain slurped down 'bun cha' with former US president Barack Obama expressed her shock and sorrow Saturday over the death of the globetrotting American celebrity chef.

Bun Cha Huong Lien restaurant in the Vietnamese capital's leafy Old Quarter soared to fame after the 2016 sit-down between Obama and Bourdain for his CNN show.

The pair shared a simple meal of pork noodles and fried spring rolls -- each dish worth around $3 -- and photos of the casual dinner quickly went viral.

Bourdain died by suicide while in France filming an episode of his Emmy-winning CNN food and travel program "Parts Unknown", the network said Friday. He was 61.

"I was surprised and sad when I heard about (Bourdain's) death," Nguyen Thi Nga, co-owner of Bun Cha Huong Lien restaurant told AFP.

Anthony Bourdain is seen in this photo by AFP
Anthony Bourdain is seen in this photo by AFP.

"(Bourdain) was a nice, friendly and folksy person... He praised our bun cha dish and its fish-sauce broth. He loved Vietnamese food," Nga said.

Obama posted a tribute on Twitter to Bourdain on Friday, sharing a picture of the pair drinking beer during the meal which took place during his state visit to Hanoi.

Bourdain came to Vietnam several times throughout his life, making several TV programmes about his fascination with the country's food.

Inside the restaurant, as hungry customers poured in for lunch on Saturday, diners gave extra attention to the glass box in which the table and chairs used by Bourdain and Obama are preserved.

"I came here to share the grief of the loss of such a talented chef... he was such a special person because he had such a great passion for Vietnamese food," customer Nguyen Quan told AFP.

Bowls of ‘bun cha’ are carried on a tray in the restaurant which Obama and Bourdain visited in 2016 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: AFP
Bowls of ‘bun cha’ are carried on a tray in the restaurant which Obama and Bourdain visited in 2016 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: AFP

The restaurant in Hanoi's leafy Old Quarter soared to fame after a 2016 sit-down between Obama and Bourdain for his CNN show

Bourdain died while in France filming an episode of his Emmy-winning CNN food and travel program 'Parts Unknown.'

The pair shared a simple meal of pork noodles and fried spring rolls.

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AFP

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