SURRY HILLS, SYDNEY
What do you get when you mix 3 girls who haven’t seen each for months // an eclectic bar through a secret door // and a delicious authentic Vietnamese restaurant? GOOD TIMES, that’s what.
To be fair, we could have been anywhere and had an enjoyable night- it’s been way too long since we have all caught up, but we start our night off in an incredibly funky little bar- The Wild Rover- directly across the way from Madame Nhu. It's completely inconspicuous- you enter a green door with next-to-no signage- and you are hit with indie style folk music, mood lighting and extremely friendly staff. We are off to a good start!
All three of us sink into the comfortable corner lounge-booth, slowly sipping our wine and having lots of chats and even more laughs. Well, that is until we realize we are running late for our dinner reservation- lucky it’s just across the road.
Madame Nhu is a small and interesting Vietnamese restaurant on the corner of Campbell street, Surry Hills. It's one of 4 restaurants in the Madame Nhu franchises. The space is decorated with fairy lights, wall murals, french style shutters, staggered seating and a view into the open style kitchen- where we can see the chefs doing an amazing job of keeping up with the very busy restaurant!
We settle in and place our order: fresh vegetarian spring rolls, caramelized chicken, salt and pepper squid, beef brisket pho and 2 side orders of rice. All meals being shared, with exception to the pho.
A little mix up occurs with our entree of fresh springs roll- which results in us receiving them at the end of the meal (and instead of fresh rice paper rolls, we receive the deep fried version). All the main courses were delicious: crispy yet tender squid - this was probably the nicest salt & pepper squid I have had in a VERY long time, tasty chicken pieces in a sweet & salty broth (although admittedly I did expect a sticky caramelized coating), and a big bowl of aromatic soup- all arrive within minutes of ordering. The staff are very welcoming and friendly -and patient as we take a while deciding on our order, in between all the chatting!
Madame Nhu is a great little restaurant serving authentic Vietnamese food with a reasonable price tag. The atmosphere is laid back, the servings are generous and the service is fast and friendly. This particular franchise also serves beautiful Vietnamese cocktails (we stuck to wine throughout the night)- but I will be back to try them out soon! Bookings are also recommended, as it's popular and fills up quickly.
More info on The Wild Rover: http://www.thewildrover.com.au/
More information on Madame Nhu- http://www.madamenhu.com.au/
All photos by Belinda- www.outoftheoffice.com.au