Attention all foodies: thanks to SOMI Vietnamese Bistro, there’s a new authentic Asian restaurant in town.
SOMI, located off 1215 E. Wilmington Ave., is one of the more recent additions to the Sugar House neighborhood, offering traditional and modern Vietnamese dishes—starters, vermicelli, rice, main dishes and the famous Vietnamese Pho noodles.
“I have been to many [Asian] restaurants in Utah,” said Michael Eng, chef and owner of SOMI Vietnamese Bistro. “They have either been not good or dirty. Some are okay, but, you know, not to my taste.”
Eng said everything at SOMI is first class—a place where customers can enjoy not only the food but also the clean and chic decoration.
SOMI is a combined abbreviation for husband and wife team Sofia and Michael Eng, who said they decided to open the restaurant when they saw the opportunity to combine authentic food in an unique environment with friendly service.
Eng said he tries to keep a keen eye on the kitchen as well as the dining area––welcoming guests, filling glasses and treating customers appropriately, all while making sure the restaurant serves high quality food. Welcoming guests is an important aspect of the business for Eng, which is why he said the majority of his business is returning customers.
SOMI tries to hire students and has employees who attend the University of Utah, Weber State University and Brigham Young University, according to Eng.
“We have a lot of student associates [at SOMI],” Eng said, pointing to waitress Lila Santos as she jotted down customers’ orders.
Santos is a first-year student at Salt Lake Community College who works part time at SOMI.
“I understand that [being] a student is tough,” Eng said. “[Students] got to work and pay for the classes; that is not easy.”
In this spirit, SOMI offers Westminster students 10 percent off each meal with a student ID and a buy one meal get one half off deal, according to Eng.