Susan Johnson (more chengdu)|
We were walking down East Tongzilin road when we spied a new Vietnamese restaurant that had opened up. We've had mixed success with this cuisine in Chengdu, as have restaurants that have tried to offer it, but we went in to check it out. The interior is small and quite cosy; the menus are written on brown paper in Chinese and Vietnamese. They offer some phở, spring rolls, Vietnamese drip coffee, and a few bánh mì that the menu bills as fabao. The host told us the talent in the micro-kitchen hailed from Vietnam.
We wanted to try a few of our favourites and from the list of soups ordered a bowl of Pho Bo. We expected raw beef, but the pieces were cooked very through when the noodles arrived. The flavour was fine and the sides of shredded lettuce, bean sprouts, mint and a chunk of dry lime were just right. We ordered the Saigon Spring Rolls since the server said they were not making summer rolls until the hotter weather. The rolls came with cabbage and dressing on the plate, which was nice, though we would have preferred the traditional accompaniments of leaf lettuce and fresh herbs. They did have a little bowl of fish sauce for dipping. The spring rolls, at 20 RMB for an order of four, were crunchy and fragrant and were the most authentic tasting Vietnamese spring rolls we've had in Chengdu yet. We also had to try the Bahn Mi and got one filled with a pork cutlet. We loved the signature Vietnamese pate smeared inside the sandwich and the cilantro and cucumber filling but found the bun a bit on the dense and sweet side, more to local taste than our own. It had been nicely toasted though. The Vietnamese drip coffee came in a small pot that yielded about a quarter of a cup of mild, rich, and sweet coffee. The price was right at 10RMB per serving. We were mostly impressed by the value at this place, where two people could eat pretty well for less than 100RMB.