SeeFoon ‘Revisits’ Vietnam
My friends all laugh when I say I love a particular cuisine as they all know that as a Foodie or the Food Diva as some of them call me, I love ALL cuisines. Except for certain bizarre food items as presented by TV hosts like Andrew Zimmern and Sonny Side in their highly entertaining TV shows.
Vietnamese food for me is within the top 5 of my favourite cuisines. I have visited Vietnam on 6 occasions and I have never found a restaurant here in Ipoh that quite fits the bill in terms of the authenticity of taste and quality.
I am happy to report that I have found such a Vietnamese restaurant in Ipoh – guess the name . . . Vietnamese Taste – Vietnamese Street’s Best.
The restaurant is brand new, with a charming attempt at creating a Vietnamese ambience with hats (called nón lá or leaf hat) on one wall masquerading as lamps and big murals of Vietnamese dishes on the other wall. A make-belief pushcart serves as a cashier’s desk and the menu is well illustrated with photos of the dishes on offer.
The Vietnamese as most people know are famous for their coffees and in this restaurant, these live up to their reputation. Their drip coffee takes a bit of time RM5.90 (to drip through) so order that first and their Mojito and Suo Toui Coffee at RM6.90, creamy and delicious even for a non-sweet palate like mine.
Then on to the dishes. Being the “wide-eyed, stomach narrow” (my grandma’s favourite admonition) child that I was and still am, I ordered up a storm. Starting with the Banh Xeo, the typical Vietnamese pancake that is filled with prawns and spring onions, this one was crispy on arrival which is a sign of a good Banh Xeo and served with lettuce and a dipping sauce. You wrap a piece of the pancake in the lettuce leaf, dip in sauce and voila, a mouthful of crispy freshness, RM19.90.
Their Goui Cuon or Summer Spring Roll, wrapped in paper-thin rice wrappers had a big prawn, bean noodles, wrapped in lettuce, then the rice paper. I would have preferred a fish sauce dip but the peanut sauce that accompanied this was liked by my fellow diners, RM6.90. The fried version had minced chicken in it with the requisite fish sauce dip which I liked, RM5.90.
Com Ga Quay or Lemongrass Chicken Chop Rice, chicken chop perfumed with lemongrass, juicy and tender inside, served with a fried egg and the de rigueur fish sauce. A meal in itself, RM17.90.
The last two ubiquitous dishes that Vietnamese street cuisine is known for is done very well here. Pho that umami beef soup served with slurpy rice noodles is one of the most well known. You can choose whether you want raw sliced beef brisket, beef balls or all three; beef stew and there is even chicken Pho. Ranging in price from RM11.90 to RM17.90, this is one bowl of deliciousness that is irresistible. Served with extra herbs and garnitures.
And then there is Banh Mi, which is a ‘move over Subway’ dish taking the western world by storm. My personal test of a good Banh Mi is the baguette itself. Is the crust crunchy? And is the inside soft? Here at Vietnamese Street’s Best, it is a resounding Yes! On both counts and the filling is good too. Julienned carrots, cucumber, meat floss, egg, Vietnamese chicken sausage, and topped with cut chillies and coriander, you’ll need a big mouth to bite into it. We ordered the special at RM11.90 but they also have a fish fillet, RM9.90, a double egg, RM8.80, and grilled chicken at RM12.90.
There are also set lunches with rice dishes, more noodles and a rice-wrap platter with smoked duck. An extensive menu indeed. I have made myself a promise to explore further.
VIETNAMESE TASTE – VIETNAMESE STREET’S BEST
No. 8 Block C, Persiaran Greentown 4,
Greentown Avenue(2.82km), 30450 Ipoh.
Business hours: 11am-9pm 24/7
Manager N.K. Liow: 017 475 0513
Reservations: 05 210 8013
Vietnamese Taste Ipoh Garden
No. 67 Medan Ipoh 1A,
Medan Ipoh Bestari, 31400 Ipoh.