20 March, 2013

Take Two....

Every once in a while I find places on my own that I think are flog worthy.  One day I found myself STARVING down in Wellington West and I pulled my Mister into a place that I spotted out of the corner of my eye.  Springroll House Cafe.  It was SO fabulous that I decided to come back to eat a second time and flog it.

Spring rolls??  Sure, if they at least had that, I'd be happy.  When you're pregnant and hungry, your focus becomes singular; cravings.  I know that when I crave something my body is most likely in need of a nutrient that is in that food.  What is in a spring roll??  Fresh veggies and sometimes meat.  Sounded like a plan to me!  In a flash the menus were on our table along with our pot of tea.

Having been there once, I knew I was going to leave happy.  The first time we went I ordered House Special #55 with vegetable spring rolls and LOVED every bite.  This time, I figured I had better try something recommended by the staff.  I was sure I would end up eating a soup if I went by recommendation (which isn't my normal "go to" when I go out...I can have soup at home, right?) but, I wanted the best that Vietnam had to offer me.  After talking with our waiter we ordered the pork spring rolls and I went with a small bowl of 38A, Hu Tiu with sliced rare beef, chicken and shrimp with sate.

It was noonish when we got there, so I knew if I wanted indoor shots, I had better hurry.  While I was walking around, I spotted a highchair near the coat hooks...good sign.  Family friendly...you know I like that.


It didn't take long and our spring rolls were at our table...and piping hot!

Pork Spring Rolls

These were about as yummy as pork spring rolls can get.  It was a little odd to me that you only get 2 spring rolls for 4.95 here when just down the road at a Thai place we ate at a couple weeks back...you get 5 spring rolls for 8.95.  More than double the rolls for only 4 dollars more...and the rolls at the Thai place were much larger.  I suppose you do what you gotta do in this economy though...  The rolls themselves compared to others I have had were acceptable.  But, let me tell you what makes these babies sing...  The sauce.  I don't even know what this sauce is made out of but it just boosts EVERYthing about these rolls.  Comparing the sauce to every other place we've been...it leaves all other sauces in the dust.  It just highlights all of the right notes in the meat and the vegetables and I found myself want to just drink it when we finished our spring rolls.

Our waiter brought my bowl of bean sprouts and herbs to the table so I knew my main event was close at hand...

Basil, Lemongrass, Bean Sprouts, Lime & Thai Chili

 And then, lunch arrived!

 Hu Tiu Sliced Rare Beef, Chicken & Shrimp with Sate

Everything about this bowl was balanced and FRESH.  One of the things I LOVE about Asian cuisines SO much is that you can actually taste that your food is as fresh as possible.  I tasted the broth as is.  It was wonderful, but I could see where it could benefit from some of the goodies on the herb plate.  So, I rolled my Thai chili (to release the seeds), ripped off the tip and poured the seeds out so I could chop it up into my bowl.  (If you do this, remember to wash your hands immediately.  I forgot...then rubbed the corner of my left eye.  >.<   Not an awesome feeling at all!)  I ripped my basil and lemongrass into the bowl and squeezed the lime on top.  I waited a couple minutes so the heat could penetrate everything and I dug in.   

All of the meat was perfectly cooked, especially the shrimp.  Sometimes those get added too quickly when restaurants are in a hurry and they get over cooked making them hard.  My shrimps were soft and SO plump!  The noodles didn't have much flavor to them, which I expected.  The broth carried it over anyhow.  At some point I put down my sticks and just started ladling the broth into my mouth as fast as I could.  It was so balanced and lovely, I could have just drank a giant glass of that with a straw.  When I was done with my ladling, my Mister went to town on it.  I was SO glad that I went with our waiter's recommendation.  One of the other things he recommended when I told him I really wanted some red meat was the Beef Skewers on rice.  I want to go back so badly to try it!

Now...Vietnamese is a pretty straightforward niche in the food arena but, I assure you...a person can screw up a pho quite easily.  It takes know how and experience to make your dishes balanced.  Whomever they have in the kitchen knows what they are doing.  If you are down in the "Ton" and looking for a QUICK (everything WAS very quick even though the place filled up 2.2 seconds after I finished taking my indoor shots), flavorful and satisfying lunch, stop in at the Springroll House Cafe and give them a try.  I hope you like it as much as my Mister and I did!

SpringRoll House on Urbanspoon   

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