It is a funky space, with contemporary décor which includes vibrant Mao and More lampshades you can see in my photo below, as well as tasselled red curtains and a polished concrete feature wall.
Affable owner/manager Johnny Luu heads an informative and friendly team who are keen to explain Chef Kim Liu’s menu. Lui, born and raised in Vietnam, spent eleven years at Glebe’s Thai Intra, and presents an imaginative range of authentic Vietnamese dishes mixed with exciting cross-over cuisine.
We started by sharing Vietnamese Wraps which range from $16-20, depending upon what you want on them. For me, it's always hard to go past Chao Tom ($20) or minced prawn wrapped around sticks of sugar cane. As you can see from my photo above, here it's served on a tiered platter.
They are also the first restaurant I have seen to use this clever device that stops the rice-paper wraps sticking to each other!
We also enjoyed a salad called Goi Sen ($18). As you can see from the photo, it was covered in sweet Yamba prawns, sliced pork and porous lotus stems.
Dish of the night went to the heaped bowl of perfectly cooked Tasmanian Mussels in a Saigon 333 Beer Broth ($22) photographed above. By the way, all of their seafood is from Sydney’s favourite purveyor Christies... so you know it's good quality!
And as you can see by the platter of Blue Swimmer Crabs in Tamarind Sauce ($32) above, their prices for seafood of this caliber are more than reasonable - where else would you get TWO whole crabs for $32? It was a very interesting treatment of crab which involved batter and deep frying, and a tamarind sauce.
There is a cocktail list with a decidedly Asian twist, as well as non-alcoholic beverages like the Vietnamese Iced Coffee ($3.50) I tried above. It's a really intense coffee sweetened with condensed milk and served over ice.
By the way, the current menu only deals with omnivorous eaters, but substitutions for vegetarians are possible on request.
50 Murray Street, Pyrmont
Ph: (02) 9212 3268