Tis the season I am sick. :( Been coughing and hacking and sniffling over the weekend, so when we decided on a lunch-place today, San and my sister decided that we would go somewhere where I can have soup so we went Melbourne Vietnam Noodle House. It is a place where we do go rather often, and I have a few favourites there...in which I did not eat today. So when I do eat it, I'll review those dishes. Or something.
Anyway! Because I was sick, I was limited to only noodle soup. I usually will have the Sliced Chicken Noodle (small $6.50) but I thought I'll try something different today and opted for Special Beef and Chicken Noodle (small $6.50).
They often serve the noodles with bean sprouts aka TAUGEH, something I absolutely cannot eat due to a past-life enemy encounter (前世有仇) I had with the vegetable. I very politely told him to forget about the taugeh, but the guy brought it over anyway. What a waste.
My noodles came first and...
What a surprise. First of all, I didn't know that "Special" in this case equates to "hell lot of intestinal stuff". There's tripe, intestines, guts, bones, I don't even know what. I was literally horrified as I hate any kind of intestines that existed (although less than taugeh; under torture I would eat intestines, but taugeh can go hang itself). I picked out all the unrecognisable stuff i.e. stuff that's not beef/chicken meat before I ate my noodles. There were also some floating yellow bits in which I THOUGHT was little quail egg yolks, but upon eating them, they were not. They didn't taste BAD, but my sister jokingly said they were eyeballs and THAT gross me out. I mean, I doubt they were eyeballs, but I don't want to end up eating kidney or pancreas or whatever.
For the record, there were only two pieces of chicken. *SAD FACE* So no, I didn't enjoy the noodles, but the soup as usual was great. Full of flavours and a squeeze of lemon really made it tasted super. If I had gone with my normal sliced chicken, this would be a good review!! But nooo, I had to be adventurous (read: stupid). By the way, if you're a great intestines fan, you'll probably like this. And the soup. Honestly, if there's something I really love about this place, it's their soup with the soup noodles.
Both sis and San had the BBQ Grilled Chicken on Rice Vermicelli with Fish Sauce and Vegetables ($7.50).
Glowing reviews from both girls. The BBQ chicken (in which I had in the past, and stole some today) was succulent and juicy and was flavoured just right. I've always loved their chicken, it's very yummy, and not the conventional BBQ chicken. Viet style, maybe? :D They also served the dish with quite a lot of chicken. It's a dry noodle dish, with the special sweet-sour sauce where you pour over your noodles to wet them a little. San found the sauce to be just right, Sis thought it could use more sauce. San also thought that the peanuts were a little stale-tasting, but she found the mix of vegetables, noodles and chicken a very refreshing and crunchy bite, and everything went well together. Sis was just stuffing her face, so I gathered she liked the noodles.
Sis also had a glass of Coconut Green Bean ($3.50).
She thought it was really good, refreshing after the noodles, but also a bit too filling. It's not too sweet much to San's liking, but sis wouldn't have minded it sweeter.
Slight Mouse grouse here though - I find it ridiculous that the drinks are so expensive. I mean, it's almost half the price of a bowl of NOODLES. The standard pricing of drinks in Chinatown and the general cheap eats are always around $2.50 - $4.00 in which I found to be overpriced. Drinks should cost significantly less than a main dish, not half the price of a main dish.
But yes, I have been a frequent visitor of Melbourne Vietnam Noodle House and I don't see why I would stop in the future. When I first began going to the eatery, it was mainly Vietnamese food; now they've started serving Thai and Chinese-fusion style food. I find it to be a variety but it does take some of the little "Vietnamese-ness" of the initial place. Service's generally quite ok - nothing to shout about but mainly due to some communication problems, I feel. I do prefer this one to its biggest rival Mekong though, if more for environment's sake.
Melbourne Vietnam Noodle House
251 Swanston Street
Phone: (03) 9639 4911