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Vietnamese is one of our favourite cuisines. We’ve been on a constant lookout to find the best of it in town.

After hearing people rave about Cafe Viet, we had to go try. The atmosphere is unlike your typical Vietnamese restaurants. With exposed brick walls, bright blue shutters and trailing plants painted on the walls it’s a little like a Saigon movie set. There were also fairy lights and brightly coloured cushions scattered around.  CafeViet_THT_01

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Bang Bang Prawns ($10) -my favourite of the night. These were crispy yet juicy inside. I loved how bits of lemongrass were infused into the batter giving the prawns that extra flavour boost.

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Cafe Viet Spring Rolls ($10) – these are different to your typical vietnamese spring rolls. They’re filled with juicy diced pork and prawn, fried, then wrapped in fresh rice paper with lettuce, carrot, bean sprouts and mint. Dip them in the nước mắm sauce and you’ll be munching away happily. CafeViet_THT_04 CafeViet_THT_05

Coconut Juice ($4)  – surprisingly this was served with pieces of real coconut. The drink was very refreshing, perfect for a hot summer night. Although If you’re die-hard coconut juice fan this may disappoint you as the coconut flavour isn’t strong.

Peanut Butter Delight Frappe ($8) – a very rich but lightweight drink. My friend and I both agreed a scoop of chocolate blended into the drink would’ve been perfect.CafeViet_THT_08

Saigon Flamed Grilled Lemongrass Chicken ($19) – served with curry puffs and a side of crunchy salad with prawn crackers. I was rather disappointed in this dish. Even though the chicken was very tender and the servings generous, it lacked the authentic lemongrass flavour that I coveted. CafeViet_THT_09

Banana Coconut Doughnuts with Chocolate dipping sauce ($10) – sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, these were very crispy. We couldn’t taste much of the coconut in the doughnut and the banana pieces were a lot smaller than I imagined. Admittedly this was my least favourite dish of the night. CafeViet_THT_12

If you’re looking for a quiet night out I would suggest you come early. Once it hits 7, the restaurant fills up quickly and you’ll find it hard to hear yourself.  The service was attentive and the staff were very helpful. I would definitely come back for the small plates and drinks.CafeViet_THT_13

Cafe Viet.
2 Surrey Crescent, Grey Lynn, Auckland

cafeviet-ratings

This is our Asian food review debut!
We’ve been long dedicated customers of Try It Out, who have their main store in Otahuhu. More recently they opened relatively closer to us which was an immense delight. The restaurant is flasher than its older counterpart with higher ceilings and more modern tables – don’t expect anything exquisite and out of the world, this is a family restaurant sporting a more casual atmosphere. The staff are very friendly in both places.

Our usual staples and eating methods are:
Lemongrass pork vermicelli – pour the fish sauce in and toss well.
Fried spring rolls – tactically split the spring roll into two, dip the open end in and wrap in lettuce, repeat.
Beef noodle soup – soak the bean sprouts (which come separately) in the soup on arrival, squeeze the lemon juice in and ‘cook’ the beef in the soup if you do not wish to eat them medium rare.
Red bean ice drink to share – the coconut cream is too much for us in one go so we usually ask for a separate glass with shaved ice only and divide the drink into two. However I would suggest trying it as is for the first time.

We were feeling like we should really explore their menu a bit and selected a sweet and sour tofu to try this time round. It was good, full of flavour but in all honesty I wouldn’t order it again, the Malaysians do this dish much better. We also switched up the pork for chicken. All in all I love this food because its refreshing and that fish sauce (‘nuoc mamma’ in Vietnamese) is simply divine. We definitely prefer this over the typical Chinese fried rice and noodle dishes but that may be because we’ve had those too often for our liking haha. So as the name suggests, go Try It Out! (ha ha ha)

Grilled chicken vermicelli

Beef noodle soup

Beef noodle soup

Red bean iceSweet and sour tofu

Try It Out.
79 Atkinson Ave, Otahuhu or 20 Torrens Road, Botany Downs (Across the road from Nishiki).

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