Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mrs Luu's for Lunch

Mrs Luu's
25 Railway Tce, Milton 

It may be many months since my last banh mi post but keep in mind that three of those months were spent in Europe where Vietnamese cuisine is rarer than gold. My desire for banh mi has in no way diminished over that time. I had listed Mrs Luu's as a restaurant I had to try because of its reputation for amazing banh mi (amongst other things). I figured that Milton is close to West End and that I'd easily get there once I moved from Carindale to West End. I didn't figure how inconvenient the stretch of river in between would be. If you, like me, are unwilling to pay a toll to travel 50m, it's not as straightforward as you'd think to get from A to B.

One day, I happened to need a filing cabinet from Officeworks so I jumped on the opportunity to try Mrs Luu's. It was actually a short stroll across Milton Road to get to the eatery from there.

Railway Terrace is a tiny street tucked away in a seemingly industrial section on Milton and links busy Park Road with Cribb Street. Hidden amongst warehouses are the odd trendy cafe and busy food vendor. Mrs Luu's is one such business.

It was just after noon on a weekday so the office crowd was bustling and ravenous. There wasn't so much a queue to order food but a number of people were hanging about waiting for their orders. I was briefly concerned about not being able to get a table but most people seemed to take their food and run rather than eat on site. The menu contains simple Vietnamese-inspired 'fast food' options like noodles, salad bowls and of course, the famous banh mi. I could choose from a number of fillings but I went for the most highly recommended Three Little Piggies. For completeness sake, I also selected two varieties of rice paper rolls to have the next day.

Three little piggies banh mi

There are some tables outside on the veranda but I took up one of the inside bench seats overlooking the street. The banh mi didn't take too long to make. I bit into it straight away and the first thing I noticed was that the bun was extremely crunchy. I challenge anyone to eat this without getting crumbs and bread flakes all over your pants.

Banh mi bite shot

The cucumber and coriander in the filling was extremely fresh, which I think is critical. Because there are three varieties of pork here, it was a very meaty and filling baguette with lots of texture. The chili paste they used had a kick without being overbearing.

Rice paper rolls

Marc and I tried the rice paper rolls the next day. Having made rice paper rolls myself recently, I really admire how tidy and even these are.

Pork and prawn rice paper rolls

They were bursting with delicious filling and (this is important to me) didn't contain too much rice noodle. A dipping sauce was provided and I like that it was in a small squeezy bottle with a screw on lid, rather than a tub like other stores have because they always leak in my handbag.

I really enjoyed the food I tried at Mrs Luu's. I think the concept is great because Vietnamese food is an example of cuisine that can be fast, fresh and healthy all at once. That and tastiness is all many working people require from food. Add the fact that it's affordable and you have a sure winner. I only wish there was a similar establishment on my side of the river. If I manage to stop by again, I'd love to try their Vietnamese iced coffees too.
Mrs Luu's on Urbanspoon

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