For the Best of Canberra Taste off this week I was forced to sample some local Vietnamese food. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – my life is pretty tough sometimes.
The main contender in this battle was undoubtedly Griffith Vietnamese Restaurant with Tu Do Vietnamese in O’Connor as the opposition.
Both were sampled as takeaways due to time commitments and well, kids. Both were ready in 15-20 minutes upon placing the order and both offered a 10% discount for cash payment on takeaway.
First up was Tu Do in O’Connor. We ordered the following:
Hu Tieu Xao Cai & Dau Hu – Stir Fried Rice Noodles with Vegetables and Bean Curd
Goi Cuon – Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Canh Ga Chien Bo – Pan Fried Chicken Wings
Ga Xao Xa Ot – Lemongrass and Chilli Chicken
Bo Sate – Sate Beef
The servings were good sizes meaning we didn’t really need two starters and would have been fine with a bit of rice instead of noodles for the two of us, but in the name of good tasting we forged ahead. The absolute king of this meal was the Vietnamese Spring Rolls. They were firm and tasty with a lovely combination of carrot and pork. Delicious! The other dishes were good (I can never manage to cook bean curd in any edible way so bow to anyone who can)- fresh and very flavoursome. The downside of the meal was the lemongrass and chilli chicken which although lovely for the first bite or two soon overtook the meal with chilli so that nothing else could be tasted. If you love your food hot, this is for you but don’t bother ordering anything than rice to go with it as you probably wont be able to taste it!
A couple of evenings later we sampled Griffith Vietnamese Restaurant and ordered the following:
Bun Xao Chay – Rice Vermicelli and Vegetables
Bo Sate – Beef Sate
Char Gio – Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Ga Nuong – Grilled Chicken Marinated in Lemongrass
We attempted to order as closely to the Tu Do meal as possible to ensure a fair comparison – although we skipped the chicken wings as our appetites couldn’t cope. The chicken was a very different dish, grilled without a sauce (which was no real surprise given the name). It was delicious and had a lovely subtle lemongrass flavour. The Spring Rolls were not a patch on those at Tu Do – thinner, more pastry than filling and a bit overcooked. The sate was tasty with a lovely light sauce. And the noodles were delicious (it never ceases to amaze me how professionals manage to get so much flavour into a humble noodle) and offered a lovely bed for the other dishes.
All in all I think we both (as in hubbie and I) rated the meal from Griffith Vietnamese the better of the two but it was close (the chilli had hampered our tasting somewhat). That being said, if we were ordering Vietnamese we would definitely go to Griffith Vietnamese again, but drop off at Tu Do for the Spring Rolls!