The admin Christmas lunch was replaced with a casual work lunch down on Victoria Street in Richmond, which was good because since working in Richmond, I haven’t yet been to one of the yummy Vietnamese places along that strip.
The place we went to happened to be on the east side of Church Street, so it was easy to find parking, but it was still fairly busy inside. The woman who seemed to own the place was rushing and bustling about and it took a bit of time to get her attention. The interior of the place was regular – big round tables and Asian pictures and ornaments all over the place, fabric orchids and a bit of Christmas tinsel as well, but the smell was a bit of a concern. However, because I was so hungry, I forgot about that odd, indescribable smell and sat down with the team.
After ordering, we each received a complimentary bowl of chicken and corn soup (Peter was forgotten so we had to bring to the lady’s attention that he was left out). It wasn’t too gooey or too watery, not too salty or too flavourless. It was good, proper chicken and corn soup. I put a bit of soy sauce and white pepper in it because Peter told me to, but this only enhanced the flavours and it was the perfect appetiser for what was to come.
I ordered the Beef with Lemongrass and Chilli on Rice Vermicelli. What came first was a little dishlette of golden, clear liquid with shaved carrot and chilli. This was to be poured over the top of the bowl of colourful deliciousness. Beef, spring onion, fried onion, crushed peanuts, carrot, onion, cucumber, all on top of a nest of al dente super thin rice noodles and moistened with the lemongrass sauce and chilli.
The beef was cooked perfectly and was enchantingly tender. The peanuts were a magnificent garnish that added a salty, crunchy texture. While the lemongrass flavour was overpowered by the other ingredients during the meal, it shone through as the aftertaste on leaving the restaurant. It was a perfect lunch as I didn’t fall into a food coma when I got back to work because it was so light but also so satisfying. I won’t hesitate to come here again and try something else.
While the decor isn’t fabulous and the service was a bit absentminded, the food was flavoursome, portioned well, and was full of value. And with a BYO option, it’s great for dinner, as well as lunch.