Another is, "Sigh, I can't go back to that great restaurant because I "need" to try somewhere different." Well, when the restaurant has a makeover - voila, instant solution to #firstworldbloggerproblem! Nhi Huong (2 Sisters) are the new residents at the site of Pho Phi Truong. I'm unsure if it's just a name change - they still use the old Pho Phi Truong menus, but have a new takeaway menu.
Bryan, Billy and I love eating family-style, which of course means I have to bring my often irritating children. It's not family style without kids rocking the table, spilling their water and stabbing each other with toothpicks! I know I complain about them but big screen TVs magically transform my children from sped-up ferrets to slack-jawed lumps.
Pipis with XO sauce
A special of the house, pipis with XO sauce. They were fresh and quite delicious but there was a confoundingly enormous amount of cornflour-bound dark sauce. They're better just licked with sauce so the dried seafood and ham of the XO sauce can really shine. Still, I loved soaking up all the sauce with the accompanying Chinese donuts.
Muc rang muoi
Yummy salt-and-pepper squid, presented on fried noodles. The batter was thicker than usual which was tasty but pretty naughty. Loads of lovely zingy salt.
Bo tai chanh (rare beef with lemon coleslaw)
The beef here is wafer-thin, as for pho, marinated in lemon so that it is just barely cooked, cured in the acid as in ceviche. This was pretty good - points for the inclusion of rice paddy herb - but the dressing was very much on the sweet side. I love piling coleslaw on the prawn crackers to make Vietnamese tostadas.
Lau De (goat hot pot)
The main event - goat hot pot! Atop a portable stove bubbled a pot of chunks of goat, taro, tofu and beancurd skin. Plenty of green vegetables came alongside including chrysanthemum leaves and mustard greens. We were advised to order egg noodles and they came in a lightly oiled tasty tangle. Also accompanying were tiny dishes of intense garlic and preserved tofu dipping sauce.
Here's Bryan doing uncle hot pot duties. The broth was thick with taro yet mild and tasty. We build little bowl after little bowl with noodles, cooked vegies, goat/taro/tofu and a tiny bit of the OTT garlic sauce. I don't get my money's worth with goat, though - the point is partly the interplay of texture between meat, fat and skin, but I only eat the (deliciously tender) actual meat.
I love steamboat/hot pot, it's such a fun, dynamic and communal way to eat. My fellow food bloggers are also such lovely people to eat out with; as well as being tolerant of my kids, they're always pushing the envelope. What should we order - we want everything!!! Now that's a #firstworldbloggerproblem I don't mind having.
Nhi Huong (2 Sisters)
255 Hampshire Road, Sunshine
Phone: 9311 6522
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