I had a meeting in Mount Pleasant on the same day Jac had a day off work. She suggested picking me up after my meeting and taking me to lunch before dropping me back at my office in East Perth.
We went to Vu’s Vietnamese Cafe Restaurant in Applecross. We were given a laminated lunch specials menu which includes starters, noodles and rice dishes. The restaurant was near empty when we arrived, and we were served promptly.
The food didn’t take long to arrive, always a plus but especially important at lunch time when you and your full belly are expected back at the office afterwards. The potato prawns wrap (AU$9.50 for 4) would be irresistible finger food at any party. I ate these on my Mekong River cruise during cocktail hour and was thrilled to eat them again at Vu’s. The prawns are wrapped in potato noodles and deep-fried to a crispy golden-brown. The prawn tails are left on presumably so you’ve got something to hold onto with your fingertips – these little guys arrived popping hot from the fryer.
Jac ordered the pho tai (thinly sliced beef with rice noodle soup – AU$12.50). The big bowl of fragrant broth was sprinkled with sliced red onion and a smattering of chopped fresh herbs, with plenty of noodles and beef. The bowl of noodle soup was accompanied by items providing further interaction, texture and flavour – sprigs of fresh herbs (mint and coriander), mung bean sprouts, a wedge of lemon, a couple of sauces, and fresh cut chilli for heat.
I fell in love with the tasty tender beauty that is the Vietnamese pork chop after a wonderful specimen served with broken rice and shredded pork skin at a restaurant called Phu Quoc in Cabramatta, Sydney last year. I almost missed Vu’s charcoal grilled pork chop on the menu, com suong, the lone rice dish listed after seven noodle dishes. Vu’s charcoal grilled pork chop is served with fried egg, rice, salad garnish, soup and lightly pickled vegetables (AU$13.50). I love ‘complete’ meals like this, a bit of meat, a bit of veg, rice or noodles and a bowl of soup (Malaysian char siu wantan mee dry style and Hainanese chicken rice are my favourite meat/veg/rice or noodles/soup combos – can you think of any other beloved ‘complete meal’ combo dishes?).
Although it was a lunch date, it was also a working lunch – Jac brought along paper and pen and we did some household financial planning in between the slurping and munching. Luckily, Jac led the discussion and calculations. Left up to me, all my attention would’ve been lavished on my pork chop.
I wasn’t quite so sure about this place initially when I scanned the lunch menu and spied Pad Thai, green curry chicken and tom yam noodles – but we chose main course dishes we know to be Vietnamese (from the other side of the two-sided menu – entitled “Authentic Vietnamese Special”) and were not disappointed. We enjoyed our lunch at Vu’s and would be happy to return.
Vu’s Vietnamese Cafe Restaurant
3/893 Canning Highway
Applecross, WA 6153
Telephone: (08) 9364 8888
Lunch: 11.30am to 2.30pm Monday to Friday
Dinner: 5pm to 10pm Monday to Sunday
There is also a Vu’s in South Perth, at 298 Mill Point Road.
Don’t forget – current competition
Perth readers: win a double pass to UnWined Western Australia – closes 9pm WST on Sunday, 14 October 2012.