Scorcher reviews: Hanoi Mee
140 Rouse St, Port Melbourne
Click PLAY below to hear Scorcher’s review on 3AW Breakfast
I love a good tip.
When someone recommends a restaurant to you, especially one you’ve never heard of before, it makes you want to go there at least 25 per cent more.
And so it was that I found myself at causal Vietnamese eatery Hanoi Mee, a hornets’ nest of activity in Port Melbourne where the cocktails rock and the spring rolls, er, roll, after receiving a tip from a guest on A Moveable Feast.
“We went there for our Christmas party,” he told me. “Everything we ate was utterly unphogettable. The food was phonominal.”
Ok, I may have massaged his quotes into terrible Vietnamese puns, but it’s definitely in keeping with the spirit of his sentiments.
So after a slight reservation hiccup (online booking would be handy), we took our seats at a comfy banquette where 333 beers and a trio of contemporary Vietnamese starters arrived in rapid-fire succession.
Confit salmon with coconut, avocado and granny smith apple stuffed in a petit sesame cone is not something you expect to see on a Vietnamese menu.
But, for those who like their Vietnamese familiar, you will find plenty of the dishes you know and love – think wagyu beef pho, rice paper rolls, beef betel leaves, fried chicken ribs.
The soft shell crab bao looked menacing – its claws hanging out of the spongey soft bun at all angles – but was scarily tasty.
As were the calamari, crab and prawn spring rolls with double-dippingly good nuoc cham sauce.
For something a little more substantial – and very substantial it was! – we shared the hulking caramalised pork hock with tamarind sauce, a succulent beast of a thing that was mollified by fresh, crispy lettuce, pickled carrot and sweet papaya.
Another highlight was the Vietnamese ‘gnocchi’, just the kind of dish I like.
Rather than spuds though, rolled rice noodles are wok tossed with wagyu beef, lemongrass and chilli to produce a tasty plate of food that’s gentle yet satisfying.
So the Hanoi Mee tip proved to be spot on.
Now it’s your turn, dear listeners. I want your restaurant tips.
What is the one restaurant you always send people to? Email me at email@example.com.