Miss An’am, 86a Charles Street, Seddon. Phone: 9048 4283
Consider The Sauce drives Charles and Victoria streets in Seddon so often that there is always the chance we’re taking them for granted.
The same holds true for CTS and other western suburbs roads and streets.
An informal business meeting is profound proof of us not seeing the forest for the trees.
Miss An’am had been blithely considered by us, if at all, as just another inner-west cafe.
But as soon as I walk through the door, I know I am way wrong.
Sure, Miss An’am IS an inner-west cafe – and the coffee is great.
But the perfumed air tells me immediately there is something else going on here.
I smell Vietnam – Vietnamese food and Vietnamese cooking.
Sure enough, the menu (see below) tells a tasty tale.
Along with some regular cafe fare, it lists banh mi, coleslaw and paper rolls.
But me and Bennie make a beeline for the two dishes on the specials list – though we suspect they are pretty much permanent fixtures.
For him, “authentic Vietnamese beef bourguignon” ($15).
This is, of course, the familiar bo kho.
And a good rendition it is, too, tender carrots chunks matched by plentiful beef cubes in a thinnish broth topped by coriander, the lot aided and abetted by baguette slices.
For me, pho ga ($16).
This is unusual in that the bean sprouts have already been added – and it looks a little light on.
It’s a beaut version of another Vietnamese staple and more substantial than it appears.
The shredded chicken is delicious and plentiful.
The “with Miss An’am recipe” aspect?
Well, that just may be the significant black pepper inclusion and a broth that has a pronounced lemongrass tang, both of which add a welcome a refreshing twist.
Miss An’am is a cosy, cheerful place, with a lovely back dining garden and happy staff.
Vietnamese tucker AND great coffee – this here is a winner and no doubt a cherished “local” for regulars.