1 bottle of wine, 2 entrees, 3 mains and 1 dessert between 2 people…
4 weeks and 5 days Hoang Kim, the new Vietnamese Cafe Restaurant in Guildford has been open according to the lovely manager on duty (I just love that she had to give me the figure down to the day!).
It’s always hard to give a new restaurant a go when there is very little on the web about it and what I could find was a mixed handful of reviews. However being in such a convenient spot and being so close to one of my fave wine shops I couldn’t say no to a night out at Hoang Kim.
Only 20mins from Perth Central Train Station along the Midland line (I think that’s a mere $3 with a smart rider card or around $4 without) you will land in beautiful historic Guildford. Directly opposite the station you will find Hoang Kim and if you’re keen on some good wine with your Vietnamese then I suggest you make your way across 500 meters from the train station across Stirling Square to Chateau Guildford.
Chateau Guildford is part of the Cellarbrations franchise yet this particular store has an awesome range of Swan Valley wines (a lot of which go superbly with Vietnamese cuisine conveniently enough) and a great selection of alternative grape varieties. It’s a small shop that I could spend hours in. So I suggest heading there first to pick up a lovely bottle of Chenin Blanc, Verdelho, Gewurtztraminer or Riesling to go with your meal – all great wines to match with Vietnamese food (great suggestions from fellow wine lovers on Twitter; @Randall1921, @Davenew80 and @Mitchellwinery).
Hoang Kim is a small restaurant, perhaps about a dozen tables and on this particular Thursday night they were all full. So I suggest booking ahead, or popping in before you go buy the wine! It is back to basics with this restaurant, the walls are relatively bare and everything is simple. This didn’t bother me at the slightest as I was hoping this meant that all their time and energy was going into their food which is the important part anyway And I was right!
My spittoon (that’s the boyfriend, for new readers out there) and I had the loveliest meal, the service was fantastic and for a place with very little character on the eye it had a bucketful of ambiance once that food rolled out. Plus corkage is a dollar per person, which is a tick in my book. AU$70 for 2 people for dinner and boy did we indulge, needless to say we had plenty to get wrapped up into a doggie bag to take home for lunch the next day, bonus!
So what did we eat with our delicious bottle of Moondah Brook 2008 Chenin Blanc from the Swan Valley (big thanks to @Randall1921 on Twitter for the recommendation)??
- Rice Paper Roll with Grilled Mince Pork (2 suitably large rolls) $6.80
- Fried Wontons (8 pieces, so fresh and tasty, they were a fave!) $8.00
- Caramelised Pork Belly (with egg!) $16.90
- Chili Beef and Vegetable (fave!!) $14.90
- Combination Fried Noodle with chicken and prawns $15.90
- Banana Sago & Coconut Cream (I am pretty sure this was tapioca with banana and then the coconut cream tasted like delicious custard. Loved it!) $4.50
Once emerging from the restaurant, and now with my ’2 glasses of wine eyes’ on I did see the Hoang Kim character coming through, the little lit up lanterns, the stone water fountain and even the tacky LED ‘open’ sign in the window screamed out Asia to me. When you think about restaurants inAsia, they definitely aren’t classed as swanky or flash – they are known for their good food and atmosphere. I have a feeling Hoang Kim Vietnamese is going to be a bit of a rival to their Thai cousins up the road – the King & I Thai..