For this week’s cheap eats I wanted to find somewhere that was cheap all the time, seven days a week, as opposed to an establishment that has a lunch special Monday to Friday. This took me back to an old favourite of many Canberrans: Griffith Vietnamese.
I have known of this place since moving to Canberra almost five years ago, but only visited it for the first time a few months ago after my boss insisted we go there. And OMG. This place! I don’t know why I waited so long.
Griffith Vietnamese is not fancy. It is noisy. I think the tables are plastic or perhaps metal, but it is awesome. The walls are covered in laminated A4 paper with messages and autographs of federal politicians, past and present. You would have to go there a few times, and sit at a few different tables to read them them all – there are a lot! Keep an eye out for the Craig Thomson one, it says something about paying with cash only and not a credit card.
Onto the actual food now!
I ordered the hot and sour soup, plus an entree serving of rice paper rolls. It was ready super quickly which is always a bonus. The soup and the rice paper rolls were just $7 each.
The hot and sour soup can really only be described as ‘hot and sour’. It looks like a complete mess but it is very, very good. It’s a strange combination of flavours but an excellent combination at that. Chilli, prawns, celery, pineapple, calamari, onion, tomato. I think this would be an excellent dish to have if you had a cold – it definitely cleared my airways. The chilli nearly knocked me out, but in a good way.
The soup was really filling, and I probably didn’t need the rice paper rolls but I went on anyway… it’s technically research after all.
I have to say, I was a little disappointed with the rice paper rolls. They had vegetables and prawns and chicken and I think there was just too much going on.
If soup is enough for lunch, then I think this is pretty much the greatest cheap eat of all time for $7! However, if soup and rice paper rolls aren’t enough to fill you up Griffith Vietnamese also has other menu items that are main dishes for under $15.
What: Griffith Vietnamese
Where: 6B Barker Street, Griffith (Griffith Shops)
Opening hours: 12pm to 2pm (lunch, Monday-Friday) 5pm to 10pm (dinner, Monday-Sunday)