Today we head to a centrally located Vietnamese restaurant that my Vietnamese friends have been taking me to for some time. In particular, we would order the broken rice or various Vietnamese noodle dishes (both soup and dry) which are relatively healthy and reasonably priced. The restaurant's name is Lido Restaurant, and it's located on William Street in Northbridge.
Lido has for years been providing Vietnamese as well as (despite saying it's an authentic Vietnamese Restaurant) Chinese dishes which seem to make up a big portion if not more than half the menu. The menu for Lido has different sections for the different cuisines. I'm happy to say there is still a decent amount of Vietnamese dishes on the menu, ranging from rice and noodle dishes through to the sour soup steam boat. Many of the dishes are intended to serve one, and seem to be both delicious and relatively healthy at the same time. These dishes start from the low teens and usually go to the mid or higher teens, but the share dishes such as the steam boat will set you back quite a bit more.
On the other hand, if you're after something other than Vietnamese, there are the other Asian dishes - mainly Chinese as I said earlier. These include your sizzling dishes, some stir fries, and some deep fried dish that my Vietnamese friend bans me from ordering (but with a good choice of Vietnamese food, I'm not about to complain). Thus I haven't tried these to comment on their extensive non-Vietnamese selection.
Lido is also licensed, so you're able to enjoy a beer or wine with your dinner; or if you're wanting something non-alcoholic, Lido's drinks include a variety of other Asian drinks including blends of some "exotic" fruits.
Even though there are quite a few young waiters who looked indifferent to being there, we found the service to be generally quick including the serving of meals, though on some occasions you may need to waive a waiter to come over.
Chicken Hofan Soup - $12
With any Asian noodle soup, the taste of the stock is so paramount it can make or break a dish for me. This chicken hofan soup used a chicken stock base (as you would expect). The chicken stock had a strong, full flavour that definitely saw many a chicken (bones) being used to flavour it. Why just use the chicken meat when you can use the bones too! It was a deep stock which had been seasoned with a fair amount of additional salt (but short of reaching being too salty), making a fairly flavoured soup base that you could drink on its own without the need for additional seasoning.
The other part of the chicken in this dish was slices of chicken breast that were fully cooked. Being chicken breast, they were a little dry and plain; however in this dish with the chicken stock they complemented the dish quite well adding to the chicken flavour and best eaten with the flavour from the stock. Failing that, you could always use some of the additional sauces available.
Rounding out the dish were the glass noodles, slippery smooth and light in texture - combining into this chicken dish really well.
At this point I should also mention that, with most Vietnamese soup noodle dishes from what I can tell, you get a side dish of bean sprouts, cabbage, mint and lemon that you can add to your noodles as you please. Also, for the chilli-lovers or the adventurous, cut chilli is provided.
Bun Bo Hue - $12.50
This noodle dish was a beef noodle dish made with a beef stock.
Like the chicken stock above, the beef stock was pretty decent with a good strong and deep flavour that you could see in the colour of the soup and made this dish quite satisfying and delicious. However, for those of you who haven't had it before, chilli is added to the dish making it quite spicy - the level of spiciness is fine if you're used to chilli but you might struggle if not so be warned!
This beef noodle soup (of course) came with thin slices of cooked beef as well as a type of sausage meat. Whilst the beef was nothing special, almost rough in texture with not a lot of flavour in itself, the sausage meat tasted like a processed cold pressed smooth meat sausage that had been sliced up and put into this dish.
The noodles used in this dish were round rice noodles that looked a little like a pale version of spaghetti. They were heavier than the glass noodles used in the chicken hofun soup, but were well matched to this heavier beef noodle soup.
Broken Rice - $12.50
Another favourite Vietnamese dish for me (especially when it's too hot for soup) is Broken Rice. It's a dish that my Vietnamese friend tells me was eaten by the poorer folk (i.e. the broken scraps of rice with whatever else they could put with it) though at current prices you would hardly think that!
The highlight for me in this dish was the grilled pork chop. The pork chop had a bit of bone on one side, the meat had been half sliced into strips with the bone side still in tact so as to to keep the pork chop together. The pork chop had been char-grilled with a marinade that was all of sweet, savoury, amongst other flavour marinades further enhanced with a smoky grilled charcoal flavour. Quite delicious if you ask me.
The broken rice dish also came with the broken rice (rice that had been broken into smaller bits and cooked) topped with what seemed to be a mix of fine strips of pork and pork skin, a soft-yolk fried egg (with crunchy bits on the base and sides), a slice of a type of sausage loaf that had a sort-of rough minced processed meat with some black crunchy fungus, and slices of cucumber. Also on the dish was a small bowl of Vietnamese fish sauce, pouring it into the dish (especially the rice) gave the dish a whole kick of additional flavour - but be warned you'll have garlic breath afterwards.
Lastly, the broken rice is served with what seems like a token soup - a light broth soup that is seasoned with a fair amount of salt and pepper.
Ice Chendol - $6.50
Lido offers a small selection of Asian drinks on their menu - many are made on the spot.
This Ice Chendol is almost a cross between a drink and a dessert. It is layered with a type of bean in sweet syrup, a green jelly-like layer mixed with coconut milk, and sweetened crushed ice. Overall, the drink is quite sweet and filling so don't order it if you have ordered a lot of food already.
We liked: Some of the Vietnamese dishes are very flavoursome and pretty much delicious whilst seeming relatively healthy for eating out; the place is quite clean and bright for a Vietnamese restaurant.
We didn't like: You're likely to smell like the restaurant if you eat or sit close to people who have some dishes like the sizzling ones; a little pricier than some other "authentic" Vietnamese restaurants
Other things to note: The menu has Vietnamese as well as a lot of non-Vietnamese dishes; licensed (BYO wine only); mostly indoor but a handful of 2-seater al fresco available.
416 William Street
NORTHBRIDGE WA 6003
(08) 9227 5545
Lunch: 7 days - 11am to 3pm
Dinner: 7 days - 5pm to 10pm