Ever since travelling Vietnam over the Christmas holidays, I’ve found myself craving their deliciously flavoursome cuisine. I could eat multiple banh mi’s in one sitting and would certainly devour a Vietnamese yellow curry in a heartbeat. No matter how much I eat, I simply just can’t get enough of this wholesome grub. So, if you’re like me and should basically just move to Vietnam for the food, but can’t quite afford that plane ticket then Auckland has got some pretty awesome Vietnamese restaurants that are sure not to break the bank.
After my trip to Vietnam, Ponsonby’s gem, Le Vietnamese Kitchen, was the first place that I set my taste buds on and let’s just say they did a dam good job of satisfying those vietnamese cravings. The Nem Chien, otherwise known as crispy fried roles, are the perfect starter, while the Yellow Vegan Curry ticked all of the boxes.They also dish up some of the best pho and don’t forget to wash down your food with a Saigon beer. Not only is the food to die for, but the petite courtyard certainly transports you from the streets of Ponsonby to the streets of Vietnam.
As its name suggests, Cafe Hanoi takes you on a trip to Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi. Taking inspiration from the street food of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, Cafe Hanoi serve up fresh and flavoursome dishes with a modern twist. Try their crispy soft-shell crab with shredded papaya salad and chilli lime dressing or if seafood isn’t your thing then opt for the caramelised pork belly and coconut hotpot served with crispy noodles - it’s literally melt in your mouth perfection! Don’t worry they all have a great range of veggie dishes, our favourite being the twice-cooked tofu stuffed with shittake mushrooms.
The brains behind Kiss Kiss and Happy Boy opened Vietnamese eatery, Love Exposure, last year and it’s been a hit on Dominion Road. Inspired by Vietnamese street food, the menu is simple but certainly packs a lot of flavour. Bringing you traditional snacks like deep fried pork spring rolls, free-range chicken satay skewers and prawn or tofu summer rolls – you’ll be spoilt for choice. Even the bar snacks, taro chips and prawn crackers are mouth-wateringly good. Try the Pho, you won’t be disappointed – a choice of rare beef or free-range pulled chicken to accompany the flavoursome noodle broth. As well as a to die for menu, you could equally visit the quirky bistro to simply have a peak at the décor and experience the buzzing atmosphere.
Sen’s mission is to serve up ‘tasty Vietnamese street food that authentically reflects the heritage and diversity of the Vietnamese people’ and that’s exactly what they do. Only using the freshest and most natural ingredients, their dishes are not only stunning and delicious but they bring to life the vibrancy and colour of Vietnam. There will be plenty of local flavours like lemongrass, Vietnamese mint and coriander for your tastebuds to explore. Grab your pals and try their set menu, which showcases some of the best Vietnamese fare - think melt-in-your-mouth caramelised pork belly, YUM!
If you’re looking to try something new at lunch, then definitely sink your teeth into the Vietnamese street food at Hello Mister! It’s perfect for on the go eating or to treat your palate to a variety of Vietnamese dishes. The half size portions allow you to nibble at everything, while the vibrant cabinet draws you in straight away. Try their Pho for something warm and comforting or if you’re in a rush bag yourself a variety of rice rolls. The food is fast, fresh and most importantly flavoursome!