Monday, January 16, 2012

Nhi Huong (2 Sisters)

You may have seen on Twitter the hashtag #firstworldproblems.  You know, like, "so annoying that I have to clean up before my cleaner comes".  There's another level which is #firstworldbloggerproblems.  "Oh, I am so behind in my posts - just can't keep up with all the meals I have out!"  "Darn, I forgot my camera.  *Roll eyes*  Have to use my iPhone then!"  "Gah, why do my kids always order the same dish?  So annoying!"


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. 

goat hotpot
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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  1. Replies
    1. LOL! Yes he is very handsome, isn't he? And probably a nice shade of crimson if he reads this...

  2. I took hubby last week as a result of your previous post. I was after ordering the chicken ribs and the pork chop like you had on your last visit before they changed names...the waitress was really nice and she told me that the chef is the same chef. There is a new manager, but I don't know if the ownership has changed, or what. She saw me looking at your blog pictures on my iphone to ensure I was ordering what I wanted...she said that even though the chef is the same as previously, he is arranging the food a bit differently on the plate. Nonetheless, I was glad we got around to going and we enjoyed our lunch! Looking forward to going back again sometime! :-)

    1. Kurichan, thank you for the info and glad you enjoyed it! I want chicken ribs. Darn post Christmas dieting!

  3. I had heard of first world problem on twitter but not first world blogger problem - love it! My husband always complains about having to wait for food to be photographed before eating - he has taken to ordering the same thing as me so he can tuck in straight away which is obviously very annoying from a blogging point of view! Anyway glad to hear this place had a makeover and the food looks great - goat hot pot - delicious!

    1. That made me laugh out loud at hubby ordering the same dish so he doesn't have to wait! Good thing about eating out with bloggers, I guess, everyone is understanding of photo-taking needs.

  4. Bennie has got real good at it! To the extent of saying to me, as I hungrily prepare to chow down, "Dad, you've got take a photograph!" What a fine lad he is!

  5. Hey Lauren, love your posts. Thought it might be of interest to you i found out a bit of history...Phong Dinh Footscray set up in Sunshine a few years ago and sold to Pho Phi Truong which is now Nhi Huong, then they moved to St Albans and now Footscray. Going back further they started 2 Tra Vinh restaurants many years ago where Dinh Son Quan is now and the bakery next to the pharmacy, moved across to where Tra Vinh is now and sold it along with the name, then turned 7 Eleven into Bao Bao Mi Gia then sold it to Ha long, then opened up Can Tho and sold it to where Pho Tam is now. They have also been in Richmond and Swanston St....phew!

    1. Anon, THANK YOU for all that fantastic history!!! That's awesome. Now that you mention it, that corner site that Sen is now totally looks like a 7-11, lol. I love Phong Dinh's hu tieu mi and have always thought they seemed very professional restaurateurs, now I know why :)


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