Friday, 24 July 2015

REVIEW: The Vietnamese

The Vietnamese Cassie Cakes Review
This place has been here since before I was born and is still doing a busy trade...that's got to be legendary in the restaurant scene.
Long before there was banh mi and rice paper rolls in every food court, there was The Vietnamese, a Valley icon serving up Vietnamese 7 days a week. With criminally cheap prices and one of the ever dwindling number of BYO restaurants, The Vietnamese has established itself as the perfect place to line your belly before a night out. We called in late on a Thursday night and even after 9 on a school night, the restaurant was still busy.

The Vietnamese Cassie Cakes Review
I took this as we were leaving after 10:30, so it's uncharacteristically empty.  
We were seated without much fanfare, no one's coming to The Vietnamese for the service - while the staff aren't rude, they're not going to walk you through the menu or be sparkling conversationalists. My feelings weren't hurt though, I'm though like that. After a few minutes, we signalled to the waiter that we were ready to order. For entrée, we ordered a serve of Vegetarian Spring rolls, $7.50 for 4. The spring rolls arrived as soon as they were ready and at the same time as the mains. Ain't no fancy fine dining course timing here!

The Vietnamese Cassie Cakes Review
Some nice hand modelling there.
The spring rolls were fine, each spring roll was quite large, hot and fresh. They didn't taste like the best spring rolls out but they also aren't out of the freezer and for less than $2 each, you can't complain.

The Vietnamese Cassie Cakes Review
FUN ROLLS! They are fun! You even get to open your own plastic bag!
My lovely lady friend ordered the Fun Rolls ($13.00), in Stir Fried Satay Chicken. The fun rolls are make your own rice paper rolls. I've never seen them called fun rolls anywhere else but I adore the name. And rolling your own really is a lot of fun! The dish comes with cooked rice noodles, crispy lettuce, mint and an insane amount of satay chicken as well as rice paper and a bowl of water to soften them in. It's messy and fun. The chicken was a little bit fatty though, but still delicious.

The Vietnamese Cassie Cakes Review
Before I customised it...
As has been documented on this blog here and here, I have a deep love for pho. Wikipedia has just told me that it originated in Northern Vietnam and spread through the entire country during the partition of Vietnam in 1954. So there you go. When you come to Cassie Cakes, it's not just about the food but the history as well. I should get that trademarked.
The Vietnamese Cassie Cakes Review
...and after! Love me some bean sprouts.
Anyway, so I ordered a bowl of Pho, on The Vietnamese's menu as Sliced Beef Noodle Soup. I ordered a large bowl for $10, the regular bowl is $9 and I thought, for only $1 more, why not go large? Because it's obscenely large, that's why. And I know this. Every time I go, I think, 'I'll get a regular' because I know I can't eat it all but then I see it's only $1 more for the large and here I am, drowning in pho. But what a happy death. The pho comes with the usual accompaniments and as usual, I add the chilli in by the tablespoon. The pho here is not the best, I won't lie, but it is good and decent, with all the desired flavours of coriander and star anise. And the price can not be beat.

And my feelings about the pho at The Vietnamese really sums up my feelings about the whole place. It's good, not amazing, but well priced, hot and fresh. And once you factor in how much you save with BYO, it's a great pre-gaming venue before a night out. Plus it makes me think of my friends and good times and that's nothing to be sniffed at.

Food: 3/5
Service: 3/5
Price: 4/5
Atmosphere: 2/5

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