Viet Hoa Cafe Restaurant
Nights out with a group of friends can be a little bit tricky. Finding a restaurant that suits everyone’s location, budget and dietary requirements can be a God-awful challenge. Thankfully I keep an ace up my sleeve for such moments-cheap, tasty, convenient Vietnamese at Viet Hoa in South Brisbane.
Although after my last visit I’m not sure if I’ll play the card again.
Viet Hoa is a casual café/restaurant on Melbourne street that does simple cooking at its best. They’re open late–I’ve previously been served after 11pm on a random Tuesday night. Plus, there are heaps of options for less than $10.
Styling is simple and basic but adequate; you have a table to eat from, a chair to sit on and if it’s cold they’ll even put a heater next to you to keep you warm in the cool evening.
The menu is Chinese and Vietnamese, but we skipped straight to the Vietnamese section: two pages of entrees, vermicelli salads, rice dishes, noodle soups, traditional mains and sizzling stuff. The vast majority of the menu is under $20 so you won’t have to worry about the budget.
On the Monday night we were there we ordered several plates of Goi Cuon–rice paper rolls with prawn and pork ($9.5 for four) for entrees, and then backed it up with noodle soup, in my case Pho Dac Bie– special beef noodle soup ($9.5).
The waitress was polite and efficient and took our orders without issue and then promptly disappeared.
So we waited.
90 minutes later our entrees appeared and were demolished instantaneously.
Now, it’s extremely fortunate that the rice paper rolls were delicious, as there would have been hell to pay if after such a ridiculous wait they hadn’t been up to scratch. I have no idea why our meal took so long, especially when it’s something as simple as rice paper rolls, but other than a small ‘sorry’ from the waiter no reason was offered. To confuse matters, the restaurant didn’t appear to be overly busy–maybe a dozen tables of diners and a few take-away orders, nothing that would indicate that your meal would be served next lunar month.
Luckily we were not in a rush and were enjoying each others company–and the rice paper rolls were good.
Our mains appeared around 9pm–two hours after being seated, and again they were attacked ferociously. Soup is a cunning dish. For some reason it gets mentally compartmentalised as a ‘light’ dish, but often the volume is deceiving. After 10 minute of solid scoffing I still had a huge bowl of soup in front of me. Value ahoy! Oh, and it tasted good too. In case you’re wondering what the ‘special’ in special beef soup means…it’s tripe, brisket and a couple of other interesting bits.
I’m having a really tough time ripping into Viet Hoa for their crappy service as their food is very good, and I have been there previously without issue. Perhaps all I can suggest is that you ask before sitting down if there’s going to be a wait–I realise you shouldn’t have to do this at all, but I don’t want to tell you to avoid them and it’s the only compromise I can think of right now.
Viet Hoa Café Restaurant
Authentic Vietnamese and Chinese cuisine
210 Melbourne St (cnr Edmonstone St)
South Brisbane map
07 3844 4818