Tu has hunted down ingredients from all over the country, especially the Mekong Delta and Central Vietnam, where he can find a wide selection of fish, shrimp and scallops.
Tu gradually replaces frozen imports with local catches of the day in order to serve diners with French-tasting dishes.
His aim five years ago when he quit his job at a luxury hotel in HCMC was to open his own restaurant and serve delicious food at affordable prices.
Tu said the secrets of French cuisine are down to cooking knowhow as well as knowing which spices and sauces to use.
Vietnamese clams steamed with French wine and scallops grilled with cheese are typical examples of dishes combining French-Vietnamese ingredients.
Since his brainwave five years ago, Tu has added more than 200 dishes on the menu, with the majority French or European dishes.
Tu said he also has a place for specialties of Vietnam for both local and foreign guests to try and enjoy. Com chien ca man or com chien hai san (fried rice with salt fish from Central Vietnam or seafood) is a case in point.
Tu has recently rented a nearby building at 52 Le Thi Rieng Street to expand the capacity of his restaurant. Tu now can welcome more than 100 guests to his two eateries with their French-style ambience.
Bistro 48 is nestled on 48 Le Thi Rieng Street in District 1.