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.
Hoang Kim Vietnamese Cafe.