Continuing on from All things Vietnamese, and this being a long overdue review post, it’s time for me to tell you how Hong Kong make Vietnamese food.
After being told by our initial Vietnamese restaurant that we’d have to turn over our table within an hour, we decided on Rice Paper, it’s neighbouring Vietnamese instead – which was still in the Harbour City vicinity. Shown to a table just a few feet from the entrance, at first, I was precarious. But it turned out to be a great night.
We ordered Vietnamese pancake (you know, crispy outer layer, filled with seafood – that one). Ours was not quite like the one in the photo, but a little fancier with prawns and beansprouts tucked inside the pancake. For ourselves – each man to his own – we ordered a main each which ranged between Beef Pho or assorted Mung noodles. Much originality there. I ordered Lemongrass grilled porkchop Mung, and the waiter kindly pointed out we would be served a whole tray of the ingredients – and asked whether we would prefer if he mixed it up for us before it was served to the table. Hell no, I wanted to do it myself!
It took a while for our food to be served, and for a small square table designed to sit four, it was a bit of hassle fitting two trays of the mung, as both my friend and I had ordered similar stuff. The porkchop pieces were quite oily in fact, however they tasted fragrant in lemongrass and seemed authentic enough (though, saying that, this was before I went to Vietnam). Having the pots of Vietnamese basil (my love), the juilienne carrot, chilli in fish sauce etcetera – made me a very happy diner. The fish sauce was a bit vinegary for my usual taste, but I was too happy chomping on my green leaves to give a hoot about that.
Being students and living in recession, it is quite expected that we disappear once we hear “Would you like to see the dessert menu?”, however my company told of how delicious the dessert was on his previous visit. Tempted by the menu of a yard-long of choices, we chose a dessert. Each. (Kerching… if only I knew!) I opted for the Selection of Souffle and I can’t even begin to tell you how gorgeously light and refreshing it was! This was made up of 3 different flavoured pots: a standard vanilla one, an exciting passionfruit and a somewhat odd tasting blueberry souffle. I preferred the vanilla and passionfruit, as the blueberry tasted of children’s medication.
A meal of essentially 3 non-alcoholic drinks, 4 mains, 3 desserts plus 12.5% service charge came up to HK$250 each. A bit on the expensive side if you consider dining in a nation renowned for cheap street and restaurant food, but for this price, I got an awesome 3 hours of dining and chatting with friends, with no hassle from the staff except some brilliant service and extremely well-presented tasty food, albeit a bit fancy. A definite recommendation from me, but given the choice, I’d rather be eating Pho with locals on the sides of busy streets in Ho Chi Minh City for a tiny fraction of the price. Who wouldn’t?!
Zone GW 3319
Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon.
Telephone: (+852) 31517801
Opening hours: 11:30 – 23:00