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Bourdain Learns What Happened to the Table Where He Dined With Obama in Vietnam: "Not Sure How I Feel"
The chef has updated fans on the fate of the Bun Cha Huong Lien restaurant table made famous by Parts Unknown.
In case you somehow missed the cultural moment that blew minds around the world... Anthony Bourdain dined with president Barack Obama at Bun Cha Huong Lien, a family-run, and decades-old restaurant in Hanoi, Vietnam, back in 2016. The dinner for two was filmed for a shoot as part of the chef's Parts Unknown episode made in the country — and it certainly blew up the otherwise casual and unassuming restaurant.
Needless to say, the much-publicized dinner has since become the restaurant's claim to fame, and Bun Cha Huong Lien's owners accordingly memorialized the moment. Sharing from the social media account of producer Helen Cho, Bourdain posted an image of the table where he dined with the president, now encased within a cube of plexi, and topped with a faux plant. Inside, the metal-topped wooden table appears all set for a meal, with plates, bowls, chopsticks, beers, and a pair of plastic stools slid underneath.
"Not sure how I feel about this," wrote the chef in his caption, presumably nodding to some complex feelings about having turned an authentic neighborhood place — chosen as such — into a tourist attraction.
For reference, here's what it looked like back then, as captured by White House photographer Pete Souza and shared by Bourdain: