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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It ain't posh...

it's Viet Nosh. Although it is conveniently located a short stroll from UWA at 43 Hampden Road, I only ate at Viet Nosh for the first time a few weeks ago. Although it is nothing fancy inside, and you have to hope you've got some scrap paper in your bag to stop the table from wobbling, I was at first pleasantly surprised to have table service. The service itself is a bit hit and miss however - you seem to have to flag someone down to get your order taken, and the meals tend to come out at random times so one person is left starving whilst the other stares forlornly at their cooling lunch, but I wasn't exactly expecting silver service at this cheap and cheerful restaurant. Well, to be honest the dine-in dishes aren't as cheap as I would expect them to be, and as far as tasty value goes it has nothing on Hawker's Hut at Broadway Fair Shopping Centre ($6.50 for massive plates) but they do have $5.50 takeaway lunch specials that I am yet to try.

The first time I was at Viet Nosh, my friend and I shared some of the fresh prawn spring rolls with soy dipping sauce to start with, and they were so good that I have had them the two times I've been back. Viet Nosh is apparently owned by the same people who own Spices supermarket up the road, and they sell their fresh spring rolls there as well. I've bought them quite a few times in the for a quick fresh lunch, and have always found them fresh and tasty. I had a strange experience the last time I bought them, though. As I was waiting in the line to be served I noticed that the cashier was being terribly friendly to the woman in front of me in the line. After she was done, I put my spring rolls up on the counter and said a friendly hello, only to be met with silence. After ringing up my purchase, the cashier stuck out her hand for my money, not looking at me, so I had to kind of poke it into her hand to get her to grab it. After giving me my change she, amazingly, asked if I wanted a bag to which I replied that yes I would (didn't want to spill any precious dipping sauce now did I?), so she kindly got a bag, dumping the spring rolls and sauce on top of it (not inside) on the counter. I left feeling quite perlexed by the whole experience, and wonder if perhaps I have a doppelganger who slept with her husband?

Actually, that is a bit of a worry, as perhaps this same woman works in Viet Nosh. Hmmm... I don't think I noticed any extra hatred in my meals, I'll have to be on the lookout next time. Ah yes, the meals! I totally forgot to take photos the first time, so you'll just have to imagine the tasty (and generously portioned) serving of Chilli Chicken that I enjoyed. It had a lovely thick sauce with lashings (yes, lashings) of ginger. Very tasty.

At my second visit I went for the Sweet and Chilli Squid, and although I found the serving to be not as generous as I was hoping for, it was quite tasty. The sweetness came primarily from the inclusion of fresh pineapple chunks, and again the sauce was quite thick and clung nicely the the squid. The squid itself was cooked well, with a good (non-chewy) texture. Although I enjoyed this dish, I would not order it again as I found it a bit pricy ($14.50) for the overall quality.

On Monday my fellow diner chose the Chicken with Soft Egg Noodle, and although he reported that at first there was a component to the flavour he really didn't like, he managed to get past this and eat most of it. He actually didn't tell me what the nasty component reminded him of, as he said it might ruin my appetite, and then I forgot to ask later. I can only hope it is not the bitter tears of a woman scorned.

I was really happy with my latest meal, the Grilled Chicken Salad. It comes with a choice of either rice or chicken broth, and I opted for the broth (it seems like this was the smart choice, as it was actually a bowl of broth filled with rice, so I got the best of both worlds). The salad was fresh, and the chicken cooked and seasoned well. I am quite picky with fat on meat, so had to do a bit of work to remove all the fat and skin from the chicken before eating it, but was left with a good portion of meat. The salad dressing was nice and light, with a nice sweet spiciness to it. The broth was also nicely seasoned, and lightened up with some coriander. I found this dish to be a perfect lunch dish and would happily order it again.

So all in all I guess you could say I have mixed feelings about Viet Nosh. The dishes I have tried have ranged from good to quite good, particularly the chicken salad and fresh spring rolls, but I just find the price is a little high for lunch, given the size of the dishes and the location (meaning that around this area you can get some good specials aimed at the student population). I have yet to try the $5.50 takeaway lunch specials however, so perhaps these are a better option for a tasty, cheap lunch.


Tim May 6, 2009 at 3:57 PM  

I should have got the Chicky Salad

nicko March 13, 2010 at 12:18 PM  

Lunch time specials are normally quite good .Chilli chicken and rice , Grilled chicken and noodles and Chicken curry and rice all quite tasty and all $5.50 .Bargain

Conor @ HoldtheBeef March 13, 2010 at 12:51 PM  

Tim - orderer's remorse is a sad, sad thing.

nicko - yes I've seen the sign for them but haven't had any. Will give them a try when the weather cools down a bit (my takeaway lunch of choice right now is up the road at Eden's)

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