I absolutely adore Vietnamese food and my home town, Sydney, has some of the best outside of Vietnam. After a sleepless red eye flight back home, my first stop was to find some hot soupy noodles to soothe the tiredness.
My sister ( a fellow Vietnamese food enthusiast) took me to a recent favourite of hers located in the inner west suburb of Marrickville called VN Street Foods.
Back in the day, the area was well known for phở (Vietnamese beef noodles) but it has been gentrified over the last few years with lots of hipster cafes so I was unsure of the quality at first. We got there after lunch time and the restaurant was still packed. We managed to find a seat. The restaurant decor was modest with low tables and stools to perch on, very similar to eateries in Vietnam.
There were heaps of dishes to choose from but after scouting out what other tables were ordering, we settled on the banh cuốn (minced pork and mushroom wrapped in rice noodle and steamed), and the ban ốc (snail vermicelli soup).
The banh cuốn came on a platter with bean sprouts, Vietnamese sausage, mint leaves and the classic fish sauce for dipping. We were not completely sure how to go about eating the dish but we tried out best to grab a bit of everything. The dish was delicious – the rice noodle was soft and chewy and filling was lightly seasoned. The bean sprouts and mint leaves were a great accompaniment to the salty fish sauce. The fried garlic (or maybe it was fried onion?) sprinkled on top of the rice noodle provided a bit of crunch.
The ban ốc was light but packed with flavour. The broth was very well balanced – savoury and tangy with a tad bit of seafood flavour coming through (I presume it was from the snails). The snails may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it hit the spot and was the perfect antidote to a long flight.
Overall, a great meal and I would definitely come back the next time I’m back in town!
Restaurant details can be found on their website: https://www.vnstreetfoods.com.au