It Just Has To Be Delicious

Posts tagged ‘Vietnamese’

Hello Please, West End, Brisbane

Hello Please Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

In a little back street called Fish Lane, hides a gem of a cafe called Hello Please. Specialising in Vietnamese street food, dishes like spring rolls, dumplings, chicken ribs, banh mi, salads, curry, rice paper rolls, pho and bun grace the menu, all ingredients fresh and nourishing, and making for a difficult choice because every dish sounded tempting.

We arrived on a sunny Sunday lunchtime and the friendly waitress gave advice on the menu wile she seated us. We sat on the tables in the courtyard where an impressive mural of Ali fills the opposite wall of the gym/boxing club.

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We chose to drink the house soda which was a lovely refreshing mix of lychee and lemongrass. For our food choices we picked a soup dish each and two plates to share – the chicken ribs and the dumplings.

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The dumplings were a bit quirky – not wrapped in a traditional rice flour dough, but wrapped in betel leaves and filled with full flavoured beef. Very nice both in flavour and texturally and a lot more filling than originally expected.

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The chicken ribs were an absolute standout dish, with such a beautifully spicy and very addictive crispy coating, succulent meat and a soy dip. Yum – I could have eaten a whole bucket of the ribs alone.

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My Bun Bo Hue was spicy with a lemongrass broth, pork belly, beef brisket and fine vermicelli noodles. The broth was intense and satisfying with a liberal sprinkling of herbs, mint, basil and beansprouts.

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My partner chose the Pho Ga which had thicker noodles, succulent chicken and an equally suitable range of aromats and beansprouts. He also chose kimchi – I am not a great fan of kimchi myself, but I did try this house made version which was a little salty but much more palatable to me than the regular versions, which can be quite intensely flavoured.

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All in all it was a lovely lunch and gave us a nice Vietnamese food fix. I always find Vietnamese broths very nourishing, especially when I have previously overindulged or am feeling tired – they seem to have magical properties which give me a lift.

Hello Please is friendly and satisfying and puts an emphasis on fresh and bright flavours, expertly put together to make a feast for the eyes and the soul. Give it a try – those chicken ribs are to die for.

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Viet Lotus, Grange

Viet Lotus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We came to this restaurant on a whim for lunch as we had a craving for vietnamese food. When we arrived it was empty, but soon filled up with diners, and the host was very welcoming. They offer a special midweek lunch deal for $10 – very reasonable.

We chose to share starters of bbq pork on lemongrass.These were delicious, nicely seasoned with herbs and the flavour of the lemongrass came through too. Served with a sweet chilli dip.

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We both chose from the lunch special menu. I had the savoury prawn and pork pancake. This was tasty but didn’t have much pork or prawn in it, mainly beansprouts and vegetables and it was slightly greasy, but I did enjoy it.

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My companion chose the Sliced Beef Noodle Soup which was flavoursome and arrived in a huge bowl. The beef was tender, and the onion, mint and beansprouts gave a nice fresh and bright contrast. However, the broth could have been more intensely flavoured and some fresh cut chilli or chilli in oil would have made a nice accompaniment.

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I would like to try this restaurant for an evening meal. It is certainly a neighbourhood gem and full of potential.

 

Saigon Shack – 114 MacDougal St, Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York

Saigon Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saigon Shack is a small bustling cafe in Greenwich Village just off Bleecker Street. It is a cash only establishment and regularly has a queue outside.

We popped in for lunch and were lucky enough to be seated pretty quickly.

Our starter was summer rice paper rolls with prawns – they were very nicely filled with veggies, noodles and prawns and served with a tasty sauce.

Rice paper rolls

Rice paper rolls

I chose rice with shrimp. The shrimp were a little on the sweet side but nicely char grilled and came with a sweet chilli dipping sauce and plenty of salad/

Rice with shrimp

Rice with shrimp

My companion chose the Saigon spicy beef brisket pho. This was full of flavour and nicely spiced with herbs, vegetables and noodles making for a heartwarming meal. Very welcome in the sub zero temperatures of winter.

Beef Brisket

Beef Brisket

Beef Brisket

Beef Brisket

Saigon Shack is definitely a neighbourhood gem with a nicely varied menu and good service. The food is good quality authentic vietnamese, just remember to take cash because they do not accept cards.

Saigon Palace, Clarkson

Saigon Palace Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This restaurant is very popular with the local clientele and was quite busy when we visited. The menu has lots of asian items on it which aren’t necessarily Vietnamese. I am not really sure why asian restaurants sometimes try to be all things to all men, I would much rather they excelled in one cuisine. So we tried to choose from the Vietnamese style dishes on the menu.

For starters we chose Vietnamese rice paper rolls and meat spring rolls.

Meat spring rolls

Meat spring rolls

Rice Paper rolls

Rice Paper rolls

The starters were delicious, the rice paper rolls fat and full of prawns and veggies, and the deep fried meat spring rolls were tasty and succulent.

For main course we chose Golden Duck which was roast duck with a spring onion, garlic and ginger sauce. This was really delicious.

Golden Duck

Golden Duck

We also chose a beef dish – chilli and lemongrass beef, which was quality cuts of beef in a really flavoursome authentic sauce. We accompanied this with special fried rice.

Chilli and Lemongrass Beef

Chilli and Lemongrass Beef

Special Fried Rice

Special Fried Rice

We also had a dish delivered to our table which wasn’t for us – it looked like a lovely fish dish so I took a photo for my blog.

Vietnamese Fish

Vietnamese Fish

This is a restaurant that I would return to, all of the dishes were perfectly executed and tasted really good. A little gem in Clarkson.

My favourite Vietnamese curry

Those of you who know me will know that I love a curry. This vietnamese chicken and sweet potato curry is one of my favourites – once all of the ingredients are prepared, you just chuck them in the pot and leave it to cook. Once the sweet potato is soft, it is ready to serve. It also benefits from the addition of a small amount of caramel – sweetness is very good for relieving hot raw spices, and if I am cooking a curry that tastes too hot, I will generally add a teaspoon of sugar, leave it for a few minutes and then taste again.

I got this recipe from Ghillie Basan’s Vietnamese cook book, but I have added a few tweaks of my own.

Recipe

1.5 tablespoons curry powder (I use Indian Madras curry powder – if you feel really adventurous you can make your own)

1.5 tablespoons garam masala

1 tablespoon turmeric

500g chicken skinned – thighs are juicier, but I like to mix thigh and breast meat

1.5 tablespoons brown sugar (any type)

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 shallots (or half a red onion) chopped finely

2 garlic cloves chopped or crushed

4cm galangal (if you can’t find it, use ginger), peeled and grated (it will be mushy when grated)

2 lemon grass stalks (remove the outer fibrous leaves, cut the end off to reveal the white middle, keep about 3cm intact, and make 4 long slits in the other part then bash with a mallet or flat heavy knife blade to release the flavour)

2 teaspoons chilli paste (sambal oelek – or use a large dried red chilli)

1 medium to large sweet potato, peeled and chopped

3 tablespoons fish sauce (use vietnamese nuoc mam if you can find it)

600ml coconut milk

small bunch coriander chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix the curry powder, garam masala and turmeric in a large bowl. Add the chicken and mix to coat with the dry spices.

2. Heat the sugar on a low heat with 1.5 tablespoons of water, after a while it should dissolve and turn golden. Remove from the heat.

3. Heat a large wok and add the sesame oil. Stir fry the shallots (or onion) with the garlic, galangal and lemon grass until they smell fragrant and lovely. Stir in the chilli paste.

4. Now add the chicken with all of the dry spice mix (don’t leave any behind) – stir fry for 2-3 minutes.

5. Add the coconut milk, mix well. Then add the caramel, fish sauce and sweet potato. Rinse out the caramel saucepan with 150ml water, and add it to the curry.

6. Bring to the boil and then simmer until the chicken is cooked and the sweet potato is tender.

7. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in the coriander. Remove the lemon grass stalks before serving.

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