Eating out – which CTS does often – we partake most of Indian and Vietnamese food.
And that’s only natural, given the western suburbs’ cultural demography.
It’s a toss-up which gets the greater of our attention and bucks!
This year, though, our Vietnamese eating has taken an unexpected turn.
Some of it may be down to the novelty of the new, but no longer are Foostcray/Sunshine/St Albans the centre of our Vietnamese food universe.
For starters, there’s a couple of places opened up within walking distance of our home (see here and here).
For many delightful and delicious points of difference, there’s Hem 27 at the showgrounds (see here and here).
Slightly further afield is Bao & Pot Cafe in Avondale Heights.
Since our initial story, we’ve returned a couple of times.
The bun bo hue (spicy beef noodle soup) is magnificent – and these days there’s a master-stock congee on the menu.
Today I go at Bao & Pot Cafe at a slightly different angle by ordering the Vietnamese pork meatballs ($14).
What I get:
Three big meatballs, crunchy with water chestnut and other secret ingredients no amount of cajoling will get the boss to reveal.
Atop them, a fried egg and a sticky, terrific tomato sauce.
On the side, marvellously fresh and crunchy baguette and a pot of garlic mayo cradling a big dab of chicken liver pate.
My, it’s so good.
When I ask, upon paying for a breakfast offering that has done service as lunch, if this is something that would be served in Vietnam, the answer I receive is the one I should’ve figured out for myself had I considered even for a second the sort of imagination and cleverness that goes on here.
Tomato sauce aside, this great dish is a de-constructed banh mi.