I liked that it was "down a laneway" so that was the Melbourne aspect sorted. We arrived just after 6pm and the place was already 75% full. We had two seats at one of the communal tables and drinks orders were taken quickly.
I didn't get a chance to take a picture of the Vietnamese style espresso martini type cocktail but it was delicious and I would return to have it again!
A friendly waitress explained the menu - essentially 5 dishes for $55 and that should be enough for 2. Very well priced! Another tick!
We went with:
STEAMED PORK BUNS BANH BAO with pork belly, cucumber, shallots and hoisin sauce
SOM TAM green papaya salad with peanuts, long beans and chilli
PLA NAM TOK waterfall crispy barramundi salad with toasted ground rice, shallot, chilli, herbs and a spicy dressing
THAI CEVICHE KOI PLA lime cured kingfish salad with mint, chilli and shallots
BBQ LAMB RIBS SII KRONG NUEX Mekong whiskey marinated lamb ribs in a sticky special sauce
The ceviche was cutely presented in a tin with a cover with a ringpull placed on top. It was the first dish to arrive and it was tasty. Chunky fish, fresh chilli and coriander and citrus tang, It was well balanced and the flavours vibrant and clear.
The pork bun was good enough but not too memorable.
I liked the lightness of the barramundi and again some good tang and spiky flavours. And the generous chunks of battered fish was better than what I imagined.
The whiskey ribs were sweet and sticky with a deep alcohol burn that was pleasant.
The food arrived quickly as did the crowds so it's not a place for a long meal. I could feel the pressure as neared the end of our food and felt obliged to drink the remaining wine in my glass quickly to release our seats.
However given the price and the flavours, I don't mind that it's a short meal. It was a rainy, cold and grey evening and this meal really transported us to another place that was much more carefree and colourful. I wasn't over full but pleasantly satisfied so it's good for a light dinner or a decent lunch. I'd say it's defintely worth a try.