For a long time when I’ve been heading to Northbridge for Vietnamese my go to has been Viet Hoa. A consistent performer and their sang choy bow is just delicious! I find it hard to go past, but recently some friends and I, Mrs M and Lady L, were catching up for dinner to run through some plans for L’s engagement party and Mrs M suggested we head to Lido for dinner. Just down the road for Viet Hoa and also offering Vietnamese cuisine I was keen to see how it compared.
On a rainy evening we arrived a touch after 6 and were shown to our table by the friendly staff. It’s a very large place, an abundance of tables and it could likely fit some pretty big groups. The menu was fairly extensive but since Mrs M had been previously I left the ordering in her capable hands. We were going to start with Chả giò thịt (3) fried spring rolls meat ($7.00) and then for mains we would be sharing Gà xả oxã ớt, Stir fried chicken breast with lemongrass and chili ($19.50), Hủ tiếu xào bò or gà, chicken or beef chow hofan ($17.00) and Bò luc lac, stir fried ‘shaking’ diced veal with red onion, garlic and pepper served with mixed salad ($23.00), along with some steamed rice.
Spring rolls arrived in a flash and they were piping hot with crispy pastry and were filled with a tasty mix of meat and veg. They came served with a flavorsome dressing too, a nice balance of sweet and sour, and we each splish-splashed some on our spring roll and it was a pleasing combination and definitely sparked the taste buds into action and looking forward to the main event.
After a brief sojourn our three mains dishes were delivered and they all looked delicious and filled the air with the heady aroma of the different spices and seasoning that had been used in their creation. I’m not the most dexterous with chop sticks but I managed to secure a piece of the veal to start with and wow! It just melted into your mouth and along with a dip of the pepper and garlic dipping sauce it was an incredibly punchy flavour and I was a big fan. I quite liked how the veal was served on a bed of leafy green salad too. Quite a nice contrast between the crunchy salad and the butter soft veal. I could see why this dish was under the chef’s specialty section of the menu!
Next up I tried the chilli and lemon grass chicken. Thankfully, while it did have a noticeable chilli kick, it was manageable for me. I don’t think I’ve ever considered myself to be overly adventurous on the spicy food front. I really love lemongrass too and the ample plump bits of chook and fresh, crunchy vegies tasted amazing in the flavourful sauce.
Finally it was time to try the beef hofan which we opted to have ‘dry’ so it was a flat rice noodle dish which was served with thin strips of beef, mushrooms, spring onions and bean sprouts, along with a decorative sprinkling of sesame seeds. I enjoy those big flat rice noodles and as with the other dishes, the hofan was well seasoned and there was plenty of crunch still in the vegies. There was a generous amount of beef in this dish too so you could maintain a good noodle to meat ratio.
And so we sat and talked through food options for Lady L’s soiree and slowly but surely the three mountainous plates that arrived soon had only a few skerricks remaining. I had thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to Lido. Fast, friendly and efficient service and really delicious Vietnamese food! In my mind I was already trying to figure out when I could head back again soon to work my way through a few more of the chef’s specialties, but I’m pretty sure I could just order the same three dishes again and be more than content.