Henry grew up riveted by his father's stories of the mysterious, powerful people known as Falansai. Having fled to Vietnam from World War II?era China, Dad always had plenty of anecdotes about the Falansai, whom he'd often chauffeur across Saigon in his taxi cab. Throughout Henry's childhood, stories of these wealthy and mysterious Falansai bloomed in Henry's imagination.
Years passed before Henry learned why the Falansai weren't in the history books: his dad was mispronouncing "Francais"?the French.
The harmony of cultures that characterizes his dad's experiences, says Henry, exemplifies the multiculturalism of Vietnam as a whole. At his aptly named restaurant, Henry plumbs the expanse of Vietnam's culinary fusion to create a dynamic menu, drawing upon Vietnamese culture's blend of French, Chinese, and traditional elements to craft each dish. Sometimes Henry even imbues items with other cross-cultural fusion, as in the Buffalo-style wings made with Vietnamese tamarind and Thai?American Sriracha. In the same multicultural vein, the staff often suggests bottles of American beer and French wines, especially for patrons who need to send messages across the Atlantic.
Despite his restaurant's global ambition, Henry celebrates the local culture as well. Falasai often draws patrons' attention to their own community, maintaining an online presence that celebrates Bushwick's local gallery and street-art scene.