Our meal began with perfectly cooked Salt and Pepper Calamari ($16), which was presented well with a lovely side salad - it's like a wonderful Asian coleslaw dressed with a Vietnamese mayonnaise that is amazingly light, yet creamy, and somehow reminiscent of KFC Coleslaw (except with real vegetables and flavour)!
Hong's mother, Rose Tran, is in the kitchen reproducing many of the old recipes, as well as some imaginative creations of her own - don’t miss her Egged Prawn Cake ($12), a concoction of soft quail egg wrapped in prawn paste served on a crisp piece of toast.
Orange Rolls ($8) are surprisingly juicy, and wrapped in tasty cabbage leaves that have been marinated in stock - I haven't seen them on a menu before, and liked the novelty factor.
Golden, crunchy Potato Prawns ($10) meticulously wrapped in potato; and show off Rose's skill with fried dishes. They reminded me of a similar dish from the old owner of the site - RQ.
Lolot Beef Rolls ($18) are packed with flavour, and served with tasty homemade noodle squares which beat hands down any noodle I have ever had in a Vietnamese wrap dish.
The crisp skinned Ginger Fish (market price around $24 for 2 people) is a real highlight. I think it was a baby barramundi, and if I am correct, it was about the nicest barramundi I have ever had too!
There are twelve desserts on the menu - quite a record I thought. We found it hard to choose, so we had the Combo Dessert ($12) and enjoyed banana fritters, black sticky rice, assorted fruit and ice-cream.
Worth a look, especially if you like Bay Tinh!
294 Crown St, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9360 8688