Quite typical of Vietnamese restaurants the tables are in rows and topped with the usual tray of cutlery and condiments and the Thermos flask of tea. The tables are pretty busy and whilst not every seat is full, tables for 4 are populated by couples so we're led to another narrow room towards the back and take a table there. It feels a bit like sitting in the back room where the staff go but it's comfortable enough and it's not cramped and let's be honest, we're hear for the food and not the surroundings.
The menu is wide and so many tempting things to try. I'm torn between grilled porkchop and broken rice or crispy chicken with tomato rice and although Stef offers to give me a taste of the pork if I go chicken, I'm too chicken (literally) to go with something untried and untested. And I decide to satisfy the poultry craving with a serve of crispy quail.
The rice dishes arrive quickly. Big oval plate of rice, golden pork, fried egg, pickled carrot and cucumber and a small side dish of shredded pork with the noodle stuff. Beneath the slices of golden pork reveal more pork in the shape of pork loaf. Oh this plate of food is satisfying, I love the variety of the components for flavours and textures. There's the cold shredded pork that is spiced and the slightly tangy and sweet pickled carrot which is also crunchy. The slices of pork retain their juicyness and are meaty with the right amount of fattiness to make it rich. The oozy yolk of the fried egg adds to the rice and really just crowns this entire dish. The pork loaf is soft, almost mushy and is more a filler for me so I wouldn't be upset if that disappeared but it's inoffensive and part of this deeply satisfying platter of food so to leave it wouldn't be fair! Such goodness for $12 and I'm already thinking when can I return even if location doesn't make it easy to get to.
The quail, like the pork loaf is good but not amazing enough by itself to bring me back. It's crispy and the seasoned salt it comes with is a nice flavouring but it's the plate of pork and rice that makes this meal hugely satisfying.