296 Illawarra Rd Marrickville, NSW 2204
|Opening hours||Sat-Sun 11.30am-2.30pm,Tues-Sun 5.30pm-9.30pm|
|Features||Wheelchair access, Family friendly, Outdoor seating, BYO, Vegetarian friendly|
|Prices||Moderate (mains $20-$40)|
|Chef||Le & Yen Nguyen|
|Payments||AMEX, Visa, Mastercard, eftpos|
|Phone||02 9558 2819|
Scarlet walls and a bright street sign to match promise good things at this friendly, popular spot. After all, it's the smartest-looking Vietnamese in Marrickville, bursting as the place is with high-speed Viet eateries and stripped-to-basics fit-outs. The menu here is as broad as Vietnam is long, with hit picks from the country's south and centre and then some. Prawn and eggplant fritters are little puffs of deep-fried nothingness, boosted by light nuoc cham (fish-sauce based dressing). A similar dousing works its magic on morsels of banh xeo (a giant, pan-fried rice-flour pancake stuffed with tofu, beansprouts and, surprisingly, celery). Garlicky wilted greens (water spinach), soup (sweet-sour canh chua) and seriously crisp-skinned chicken make a classic Vietnamese meal trio, although the southern-style broth was more sugar-sweet than tamarind-sour, despite tomato chunks and slippery okra discs. Avoid too many fried (read oily) dishes and stick with all-time favourites such as fresh rolls and roll-your-own grilled beef with ricepaper.