Melbourne Vietnam Noodle House
251 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Our last meal in Melbourne was one we tried to make the most of. We circled throughout the CBD, passing many restaurants over and over again. During this time, our appetites were ruined by intermittent snack breaks (we had pork jerky and bubble tea) and so, enthusiasm for food decreased.
A dash through Hardware Lane left Byron and I feeling frazzled and harrased. I know that it's normal for restaurants in Asia to have people out the front trying to lure/drag people in with hot specials but it doesn't happen in Brisbane and I was surprised to see it in Melbourne. Restaurant after restaurant launched their offers at us to try to get our business.
It was a shame because until those acts of desperation, I found the restaurants appealing.
We retreated back to Swanston Street and were on the way back to the hotel when we finally decided to pop into Melbourne Vietnam Noodle House.
It seemed nice when we walked past in previous days and it looked very popular.
We had a simple meal with 2 dishes and a couple of drinks.
Byron got the mango smoothie after first being told they couldn't do it and then being told they did have mangoes after all. I noticed that green mangoes were used and the drink was actually pretty good. It had a fresh, tangy, yogurty flavor and was nice with our dishes.
My pick was the iced coffee. I was hoping for a condensed milk-packed sweet drink but it had a strong coffee flavor. That in itself was alright (though I would've preferred milky sweet) but I didn't like how big shards of shaved ice were used. Just a personal thing.
I didn't understand why Byron ordered sweet and sour chicken at a Vietnamese restaurant but it blew my mind. It was totally different to the takeaway Chinese style of sweet and sour. There were mini drumsticks and wings that were slightly caramelized/crispy and the flavors were great. There were big chunks of pineapple and capsicum, which I loved. I've never had a Vietnamese dish like this before and it definitly exceeded expectations.
I chose a dish that was, in my mind, like a Vietnamese nasi lamek. There were a few elements on the plate and I wish I knew what it was called but I didn't even read it. There was a piece of grilled pork (good), fried egg (normal) and some other bits and pieces. I was excited about this but a bit let down because it was OK but nothing more.
We didn't mind Vietnam Noodle House. There was a good variety of food. I would have said that it was average and that nothing blew my socks off but I have to admit the sweet and sour chicken really impressed me.