All images by Robert Spankie

Hello Auntie in Haymarket you wouldn’t think to be great way to experience Vivid, but you couldn’t be more wrong.

When we walked in, I was expecting traditional Vietnamese décor but instead we were greeted with a contemporary presentation that felt very luxurious but not so imposing as to feel intimidating, but instead welcoming and pleasant. They popped us right next to the window and you could see the lights of Vivid just outside. If you want to enjoy Vivid without the ridiculous crowds of Circular Quay or Darling Harbour, then this might be the way to go. Granted though, we did go on a weeknight so that might have had something to do with it.

Looking at the menu, we didn’t know what to order. We hadn’t had Vietnamese a whole lot, but thankfully the staff were always happy to explain the menu to beginners like us. In fact, the staff were amazing, we were always well looked after, always topping up our water and things like that.

We ordered for an entrée the Mi Kho Top Mo, that’s thin egg noodles in garlic, dark soy, and fried pork lardons. While I thought the noodles could’ve been cooked a little longer, it was so full of flavour I could forgive it. The garlic and dark soy added a huge kick of flavour right at the first bite.

My main was the Bun Ga Nuong. This dish features Adobo chicken grilled over charcoal with rice vermicelli, pickled carrot, sesame oil, a veggie spring roll, and peanuts. This time I didn’t have to worry about the noodles, they were perfection. The sauce was amazing providing a little bit of spice with a sweet kick to it. Now I’m not a fan of vegetables, but these were incredibly tasty, I could eat a whole lot of them, they were that tasty.

Vietnamese pancakes for desert and eating them was far more interactive than I expected. I was very full at this point, but I can tell you that the sauce was still tasty and the prawn and pork mixture inside was hit you in the face levels of flavour. They were incredibly tasty.

The only complaint we had was related to our cocktails, and it’s a tiny thing. If you prefer being able to taste your alcohol just a little in your drink, you won’t find any luck here, they are sugary cocktails but if you’re into that, they’re great.

I’d say that you can’t go wrong with Hello Auntie in Haymarket. They have everything a good restaurant should: atmosphere, delicious food, friendly and helpful staff. What else is there? Go check it out.

For more south-eastern cuisine, check out what we thought of Chin-Chin

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