I can’t remember the last time I went to a laid back, bustling, busy restaurant that served amazing food, that had a brilliant atmosphere. On Saturday night a group of five of us headed to Viet Hoa in Northbridge for some fabulous Vietnamese food, accompanied by BYO booze. A great way to spend a Saturday night.
People were late, we were loud and we kept the booze flowing. None of that seemed to matter to the staff, who were pretty attentive seeing as the restaurant was completely full.
We ordered a couple of entrees to share as we waited for the last member of our party and soaked up the hustle and bustle of the restaurant. A baby cried briefly, no one cared; a huge group of 21 years olds rolled in, taking up two tables. I admired the fact that they’d booked and the waitresses weren’t phased.
We ordered five dishes for main for everyone to share, which was way too much food, but was lovely to be able to have a bit of everything. A vegetarian and a chicken chow mein, fried lemon chicken, Pho Ga (chicken noodle soup) and deep fried fish. The flavours were incredible, especially in the Pho Ga. There’s also a really good choice of vegetarian food. As someone only eats vegetarian food or fish, I’m starting to struggle a little to find nice options at new restaurants. Here, I had heaps of choice. The servings were also huge, we could have almost shared three dishes between the five of us.
The freshness of the food surprised me, especially as so much of it was friend. The kitchen is obviously using really fresh produce. I like nothing more than a crunch of a vegetable in my meal. Not only do I feel healthy, but it also means they haven’t cooked all of the goodness out of the food.
The food wasn’t rushed, there was no pressure to leave or give our table up, and the food all came out at the same time. In addition to all of that, the bill came to $20 per person. I’ve paid more for a less than average lunch.
The food, the service, the atmosphere, and then the price made it just a perfect evening. After three very relaxing hours at the restaurant, the five of us left together smiling and moved on to a bar down the road, not wanting the night to yet be over.