AUSTIN, Texas - For Kevin and Rosie Truong, standing in front of their food truck Fil N' Viet is the result of combining their efforts and their cultures. The married couple started Fil N' Viet from home during the pandemic, around September 2020, after Kevin had been laid off from a previous job.
Kevin has more than a decade of chef experience and has worked at Michelin Star restaurants and Rosie loved to cook at home. Kevin is Vietnamese and Rosie is Filipino and they both decided it might be a good idea to combine the food that they grew up with in a new way.
"Before we met each other I knew little about Vietnamese cuisine and he knew little about Filipino cuisine so we just started introducing our cuisines to each other and we’re just like oh my god it’s the same thing," Rosie says.
Kevin says fusing the food together makes sense because both Filipino and Vietnamese cuisine use similar cooking ingredients like fish sauce and rice.
The couple said the response to their food was great so they decided to open a food truck. It's now located in Camp East in the 2900 block of East 12th Street along with some other businesses like Cork & Screw, Slow Poke Marfa, and Dō’s Tiny Bread Shed.
Camp East has four small homes that have been converted to commercial and retail space and one of them is Fil N' Viet's indoor dining space.
Fil N' Viet does offer some traditional Vietnamese and Filipino dishes but Kevin and Rosie say the dish that best exemplifies what they're all about is the sisig ban mi.
"It’s the one that blends Filipino Vietnamese together. It’s the first dish we actually thought of when we thought of opening the truck," Rosie says.
"Sisig is from the Philippines and bahn mis are from Vietnam. We thought it’d be really cool if it like goes into a sandwich. We tested it, we tried it, we liked loved it. It was like super delicious. We’re like wow this could be a thing," Kevin says.
There's also a rice plate with beef ribs, Vietnamese style, served with a Vietnamese quiche called cha trung. The plate forgoes the scallion rice and uses garlic rice which is used a lot in Filipino breakfast.
Other unique items include a Filipino-style ceviche called kinilaw and Fil N' Viet's take on the classic Vietnamese drink ca phe sua da which combines ube coconut milk and cold brew.