Mission #1: N & N Vietnamese Kitchen
Preston’s High St welcomes yet another Vietnamese eatery. I’m not complaining of course, as I’m hoping for a Vietnamese place closer to home that will rival the likes of Footscray, St Albans and Springvale.
My friend spotted it last weekend and said, “You have to be the first person to write about it!” Thus we headed through the back entrance expecting a half-bustling restaurant, but behold….it was jam-packed, as if one little birdy told the whole of Preston.
My first impressions were good, the place had a simple decor, not with too many outdated Asian ornaments but also two TV’s with the footy on. I spotted these meals (below) waiting on the side and enjoyed the cute love heart dishes for sauce.
We had to wait fifteen or so for a table though and we could hear many snippets of conversations indicating that people had been waiting for their food for a long time. Teething problems.
Even their menu looked lovely and modern. Note, you don’t actually use the chopsticks in it haha! When I opened the menu, I found the usual mix of Vietnamese and “Chinese” dishes that you would find in many, many restaurants. This is not what I was hoping for.
Nevertheless, we both opted for soup dishes to cure oncoming sicknesses and to fight the winter cold. As I could kind of predict, our meals took a long time…perhaps 20+ minutes? It’s lucky my friend and I were just chatting away but we also couldn’t ignore our hunger.
My friend had the special pho, but found the dish average and the meat itself not that great. Even looking at the pho, it doesn’t looked as packed as any other special pho would be in places such as Pho Hung Vuong.
For my ongoing adventure of Mon’s Mission, I searched for a vegetarian dish. Upon ordering an egg noodle soup with vegetables, our waitress (who I think is probably the owner), also informed me the stock was vegetarian. Awesome!
So underneath all those greens there was also mushrooms and baby corn. I think the broth was quite flavoursome for something with no meat, but is it strange that sometimes the soup and the baby corn reminded me of the taste of tea? My friend mentioned her pho seemed a bit sweet, which I also noticed in my own soup.
But us being us, well we ordered an extra bowl of pho – this time just with beef and beef balls. I had a try of the soup but it doesn’t compare to some other pho places. My benchmark is usually my mother’s broth and this was nowhere near. It was slightly sweet but had a tinge of something else that doesn’t quite make the pho taste for me.
I assume it’s something they put in their stock that is not what I’m used to, and unfortunately I’m not much of a fan. To be fair – I got used to the taste as it went on.
To do well in this spot, this place needs to work on the high demand of Preston and work on providing their food as quickly as other places such as Basil House, or pretty much most places on High St.
N & N Vietnamese Kitchen is located at 411 High St Preston and is open daily 10am-10pm. It is 10% off for their first two weeks (they opened on the 19th August!)