VIET­NAMESE, PLEASE

Kalamunda Reporter - - Drive Way - Sarah Brookes

MY in­tro­duc­tion to Viet­namese cui­sine was cour­tesy of a six-week back­pack­ing trip there in 2004 and from ahem, dare I write, watch­ing Kim and Suong cook up a storm on My Kitchen Rules.

While this hardly makes me a gas­tronome of Asian cui­sine, I know what tastes good and this place is serv­ing up some se­ri­ously yummy tucker and earn­ing it­self a loyal fol­low­ing in the process.

Spring rolls are al­ways a good place to start. Hot, crisp and crammed full of meat and veg­eta­bles with a zingy sauce packed with chilli, fish sauce, gar­lic and vine­gar, it was so mor­eish you could drink it.

Equally en­tic­ing were the hand rolls. These light and healthy fresh spring rolls are a whole­some choice when you’ve been in­dulging in too much fried food.

The translu­cent parcels were packed with salad greens, a slither of beef, pork or tofu and a layer of co­rian­der. They were fan­tas­tic dunked in Viet­nam’s favourite condi­ment, fish sauce.

When it comes to mains, Hoang Kim de­liv­ers a mouth-wa­ter­ing se­lec­tion. With more than 100 dishes on of­fer, the big­gest chal­lenge is de­cid­ing what to choose. Hands down, the stand-out dish was the sweet and sour pork ribs.

Ten­der ribs were com­ple­mented with a sweet, salty and sour sauce with fresh pineap­ple, cau­li­flower, green cap­sicum and tomato.

The crispy prawn mango salad was ripe for the pick­ing with in-sea­son mango, pick­led car­rots, radish, cap­sicum and cel­ery, mint and a good kick of chilli.

So of­ten honey chicken is drown­ing in honey and sick­en­ingly sweet. Not this dish. It was gor­geous with a per­fect bal­ance of flavours.

My 11-year-old son, who tagged along for the re­view, de­clared the food as “way bet­ter than Fort­nite”. No mean feat given his pro­cliv­ity to this Xbox game and his less-than-ad­ven­tur­ous palate.

And it seems Hoang Kim’s use of only the best, fresh­est in­gre­di­ents and their flair to sat­isfy even the most dis­cern­ing taste buds is earn­ing it a rep­u­ta­tion as a Guild­ford in­sti­tu­tion.

On a balmy Satur­day evening groups were stream­ing in to cel­e­brate their milestones, rekin­dle friend­ships and ro­mance their part­ners, all while ex­pe­ri­enc­ing just how de­li­cious food cooked with pas­sion and care can taste.

Front of house is the en­er­getic and de­light­ful Lee, who along­side her hus­band Ky have been on the Perth restau­rant scene since the ’80s.

Hoang Kim, they prom­ise, is their last ven­ture be­fore they re­tire. So get in be­fore the sun sets for­ever on this gem.

D481182

Hoang Kim Viet­namese Cafe.

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