Eating Vietnamese In Brisbane

I don’t normally include many food reviews on this site as…I’m not that kind of blog and don’t pretend to be. I like to discover places to eat preferably with extra tidbits or some story to tell and unless I’ve discovered a food and beverage retail establishment particularly novel, interesting, terribly good or ridiculously poor and among those rare finds I would count as worth sharing—-you’ll find most of my reviews are typically polarised between my really negative to truly positive experiences.

Those of you who’ve lived in, travelled to and munched your way through the legendary food markets of Southeast Asia know what I’m talking about when your heart shall never be the same again—like how slurping up those strands of silky rice noodles floating in an aromatic herbal stock of Vietnamese Pho Tai transports you right back to that enticing, exotic and unforgettable Saigon experience.

I only long for the day that shared recipes of Singapore food especially in the form of Singapore eateries shall become our ‘lingua franca’ much like how the Vietnamese community here in Oz have entrenched their pho here and pretty much everywhere internationally. Such as the day a hawker dish like Hainanese Chicken Rice becomes the most recognisable Singapore hawker food outside of Singapore other than Chilli Crab.

We count ourselves blessed to live in perhaps the best Western continent in the world where every foodie gets to relive this incredible and nostalgic experience like the Disney cartoon character, Anton Ego (of the much adored animated film Ratatouille—who played the satirical role of a snobbish top French food critic) did, on taking his first bite into that dish of Ratatouille and was instantly and sweetly reminded of his forgotten childhood.

How often have we heard that scents are probably the most powerful memory evokers—all it takes is one whiff to conjure up old familiar stories we’ve lived from our brain’s warehouse of previously stored experiences…just think of freshly cut green grass, the earthy scent of rain falling on soil and ground or the sweet caramelised aromas of honey drizzled on warm waffles.

How interesting is it that we even eat with our nose before we bite into food to taste it with our tongue—our nose helps us perceive flavours even before other neurological mechanisms go to work to produce the sensation of taste we derive from our tastebuds. I always tell my good man that one of the biggest ‘bummers’ for me when I’m nursing the flu is to lose my sense of smell from blocked nasal passages. You might as well spoon feed me baby cereal as I would’ve lost every pleasure usually derived from enjoying a plate of my favourite dish.

The point I’m trying to make is how much I appreciate that living in Australia means that instead of having to endure the lesser points of travelling to Southeast Asia i.e. contending with damp garments that stick to your perpetually sweat-drenched skin in order to enjoy exotic flavours, we get to do so in less humid conditions even in most our typical summers. Just don’t quote me on this in the light of the recent terrible spell of what the media headlines cleverly quipped, ‘Summer swelter is an Asian stir-fry’. I’m no fan of the high 30s or 40s (ouch!) in age, much less in temperatures. So when I was craving for some Vietnamese fare a few days ago, I was so glad to have chanced upon two characteristically different casual dining Viet eateries right here on our doorstep in Brisbane, and I can’t wait to share my verdict on both of them with you.

Our experience at Pho Hung, Garden City-click to read review
My new discovery of the no-frills Kim Son, Inala-click to read review

Eating Vietnamese In Brisbane
I don’t normally include many food reviews on this site as…I’m not that kind of blog and don’t pretend to be. I like to discover places to eat preferably with extra tidbits or some story to tell and unless I’ve discovered a food and beverage retail establishment particularly novel, interesting, terribly good or ridiculously poor and among those rare finds I would count as worth sharing—-you’ll find most of my reviews are typically polarised between my really negative to truly positive experiences.

Without having to navigate through the chaotic streets of Saigon with zooming mopeds or bicycles to negotiate or even having to brave losing a woman’s dignity with sticky hair plastered to her forehead and damp blotches on armpits (did I just say that out loud! I hope I’m not talking about myself!) I reckon either one of the following nooks makes it as good as any day to stop by and grab yourself a steaming bowl of Beef Pho, translucent rice rolls of prawn and pork or a salad of mixed salad greens, a handful of mint and some crunchy raw beansprouts. It often even helps me draw my inspiration for some healthy Vietnamese cooking at home. As for the Vietnamese food scene in Australian cities–rest assured it’s alive and well. I only long for the day that shared recipes of Singapore food especially in the form of Singapore eateries shall become our ‘lingua franca’ much like how the Vietnamese community here in Oz have entrenched their pho here and pretty much everywhere internationally. Such as the day a hawker dish like Hainanese Chicken Rice becomes the most recognisable Singapore hawker food outside of Singapore other than Chilli Crab. Did I hear someone say ‘Little Singapore’? That’s really not Singapore but Malaysian style cuisine, mate.

For my homemade beef pho recipe.

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