I have been lucky enough to visit Vietnam twice and one of my fondest memories is the delicious food I tasted. Venturing over to Victoria Street for a fix of Vietnamese is often a challenge, so imagine my excitement when I heard a little gem was opening up within walking distance on High St. Welcome to the neighbourhood...Hanoi Hannah. Finally authentic pho can be found south of the Yarra!
There is a no booking policy so prepare to wait...
All the hallmarks of a traditional Vietnamese restaurant are here...the multi-coloured chopsticks, napkins and jars of authentic chilli sauce make me feel like being back in Vietnam. The service is friendly and fast and tables are turned over rapidly without making you feel rushed. The exposed brick walls, whitewashed wooden tables and chairs and framed images of Vietnam create a homely and welcoming atmosphere.
The meal started with chicken rice paper rolls...tasty parcels of fresh herbs, vegetables and juicy chicken. The perfect thing to get our tastebuds tingling. Next up was a crispy pork slider served on a miniature brioche bun. This was very tasty and the pork belly had just the right amount of crunch. The pork and prawn toast was one of my favourite dishes of the evening...two of my favourite things combined!
The dish that gets everyone to Hanoi Hannah is most certainly the pho...I chose beef. There is also a chicken and mushroom (which I have recently tried and love). The chef has concentrated on getting the balance of flavours right and this is as authentic a bowl of pho as you would find outside of Vietnam. The beef stock was full of flavour- the rendered fat glistening on the surface, the meat cooked to perfection and the sides of fresh herbs and bean sprouts added extra zing and crunch. You can add as much or as little heat as you like courtesy of the big jar of chilli sauce of the table. Beware this stuff packs a punch!
There is a reasonable wine list and cocktails and beer on offer. Wine is served in cafe style water glasses...very kitsch!
Probably one of the best things about Hanoi Hannah is how affordable it is...just $9 for a tasty bowl of beef pho. Get your friends and head out for a fun and flavour-some night. You won't be disappointed.
On another note...download the Hanoi Hannah app for iPhone and order yourself a delicious pho anytime the craving hits. As they say..."Pho is my bro"
180 High St
Prahran VIC 3181
03 9939 5181