19 May 2023

Five minutes with Huong Vu (Andy), The SeA Street Food

| James Day
Start the conversation
sop front

Across the road from the Canberra Centre and snuck into the corner of Founders Lane is the very new SeA Street Food. Photo: James Day.

Who are you?

My name is Huong Vu (Andy) and I’m from a small city in the south of Vietnam called Vũng Tàu, which feels a lot like Canberra. I originally came here to study at the University of Canberra, and after graduating, I worked as a store manager for over 10 years.

What is your business?

I’m very passionate about cooking, so me and my friend opened this store, the SeA Street Food, as our first business. We met in the kitchen at the Hellenic Club where I was working during my studies.

Together we travelled through Australia and overseas to study different cuisines that we could adapt into our food, like Japanese, Korean, and Thai. What we serve here is a fusion of all these different tastes that we love.

What dish do you make that best sums up what your venue does?

The ricey bowl, which is clearly our most popular meal since opening a month ago.

All the chicken is prepared in a satay marinade; the grilled pork in the traditional Vietnamese way; but for our southern fried chicken, we do something different that must remain a secret for the moment.

Andy wearing an apron and hands behind her back, standing in front of the shop's cashier with the kitchen behind her.

After coming to Canberra from Vietnam, studying at university and working in the hospitality industry, Andy has fulfilled her dream of opening this store. Photo: James Day.

What is your favourite cuisine?

Japanese first, but of course, Vietnamese as well. Especially the food from my home, Vũng Tàu, which is a small port city, so the seafood there is very fresh and tasty.

READ ALSO Kingsley’s ‘awesome chips’ return to Belconnen after 2021 explosion

What’s an ingredient that you can’t live without?

Soy sauce. We use a lot of different sauces here, but without this, we’d be in trouble.

Two grilled pork rice bowls sat on a kitchen bench with an ingredient portion bay next to them.

The store’s best seller, a grilled pork rice bowl. Photo: The SeA Street Food.

Where do you dine out in Canberra for comfort food?

If I wanted something from home, I would go to the Vietnamese House restaurant in Dickson to get their fantastic ‘bun cha’. It’s a dish made with grilled pork and noodles.

Where do you dine out for special occasions?

Raku, the Japanese restaurant on Bunda Sreet. When we went there, the prices and portions were reasonable, but they also brought out real quality in their food.

What’s your go-to coffee?

I can’t drink coffee normally because when I do, my heart beats too fast, but I do love a Chai Latte from Coles Express. Only $2 and it does the job!

Three baozi arranged in a row within a polystyrene box on a table.

A Vietnamese pulled beef variation of a Chinese baozi. Photo: The SeA Street Food.

Where would you take out-of-town visitors to show off the best of Canberra?

The Meat & Wine Co on London circuit for their great steak, or ‘The Scholar’ in Dickson for some seafood and yum cha, which I love to share with my friends who come down from Sydney.

READ MORE Hot in the City: simply the Bedst coffee!

What’s your dream travel destination?

Japan and Korea. The former I’d like to go to for a great cooking knife, a long big one to cut the meat and fish. If I can, I’ll try to get one that you can get made for you as your own signature blade.

Two loaded chippies in polystyrene containers on a kitchen bench with an ingredients portion bay behind.

One of their vegan-friendly options: loaded chips with shredded soy chicken. Photo: The SeA Street Food.

Where are you excited to eat next?

Singapore for the chilli mud crab. I’d like to get a mud crab business opened here in Canberra if all goes well, along with my own original franchise idea, CFC (Canberra Fried Chicken).

What is your top recipe tip?

For creamy pasta like carbonara, I like to put in a couple of chilli slices so there’s a balance of flavour with the spice. On top of that, I often add the Korean paste, gochujang, which is very nice.

A row of uncooked Dak-kkochi skewers on a grill

Dak-kkochi skewers, a Korean street food prepared with chicken and spring onions. Photo: The SeA Street Food.

The SeA Street Food is located at the corner of Batman St & Cooyong St, Braddon. It’s open from 11:30 am until 8 pm from Sunday to Thursday, and until 8:30 pm on Friday and Saturday. Follow the SeA Street Food on Instagram.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.