Perusing Sunshine Plaza on a casual walk-through, one might conclude it’s doing it tough.
There are a lot of premises without tenants.
The supermarket has become a Dimmeys.
The fresh produce/market Big Fields has become the otherwise identical Vicfields
And the deli next door has closed.
There still exists here a community vibe of the sort that struggles to gain a foothold at the bigger shopping centre across the road and others of its kind.
The tables and chairs outside the aforementioned deli, for instance, seem to remain a friendly gathering place.
And Sunshine Plaza management continue to fight the good fight with regular FB updates on centre affairs.
Another crew that’s injecting life at the plaza is the one behind DaLat Hill Sunshine, which occupies one of the premises fronting Hampshire Road.
Despite its Vietnamese name, there’s no rice paper rolls or pho here.
Instead, they are going their own sweet way, developing a niche based around steak, along with regular cafe fare (see menu below).
Here you can get T-bone, ribeye, scotch fillet and the like at fair prices.
But the place’s big drawcard, one designed to get new customers through the door yet also remain an always available “special”, is the Special Rump Steak for $10.
We are a little surprised to be asked how we want our meat cooked, as we figure the $10 steak will be of the ultra-thin variety sometimes served as part of Vietnamese steak-and-eggs and for which precise cooking instructions are pretty much irrelevant.
So … medium rare for us both.
How good can a $10 steak be?
The answer, at DaLat Hill Sunshine, is … just fine.
Sure, you’ll not be chowing down here on prime, big-bucks beef, but our steaks are enjoyable nonetheless.
And they’re nicely sized for our Saturday lunch, steak not normally being something we would otherwise ever consider ordering for anything other than an evening meal.
And then, only very rarely.
But what makes our meals more than just adequately satisfying – and propels them into realms of bargain pleasure – is the care taken with the accompaniments and the presentation.
The mashed potato is very, very good.
The asparagus spears are both cooked through and crisp.
The thin gravy is fine for meat dipping.
And even the rosemary garnish does its part by imbuing all with a just the right amount of perfume.
The service is fine and smiling – as are the Vietnamese iced coffees with which we depart.