68-82 Hopkins St
Footscray, VIC 3011
0432 423 979
After picking Fatbee up from work one Sunday morning, we proceeded to have what can be known as Fatbee’s concept of ‘Sunday Brunch’.
Yup!! It’s brunch Vietnamese style, right in this cute little garden of earthly bamboo-plastic delights!
And ahem… maybe I’m a bit rusty from my blog sabbatical, but the only words I could cough up for this place are: “is very astroturf and is good!”.
We were the only ones eating there at 11.30am that Sunday morning, and all the kitsch little touches, the hilariously low stools, and the carpet of green made me feel like I was on holiday. Look, there’s even a water fountain with frogs wearing rattan hats.
Cà Phê Sữa đá (Vietnamese Milk Coffee) $2.99
And of course we went for the ‘truly Melbourne’ brunch route by starting with coffees. Loved how it’s presented in two layers here, with the espresso on top and milky part below. This was a nice and strong offering, just like how it should be… but I also liked how they didn’t over-sweeten it (in Saigon, it’s normally CRAZY sweet).
Cháo (Congee) $2.99ea
And here’s our feed. I declare this to be the Vietnamese equivalent of having Teochew Muay (Teochew Porridge) in Singapore, where you have a cleansing bowl of bland rice porridge (congee) with several umami-laden small dishes.
Dưa Mắm (Salted Pickled Melon) | Thịt Ba Rọi Rim (Caramelized Pork)
Hột Vịt Bách Thảo (Century Egg) | Thịt Bò Bằm (Minced Beef)
Măng Xào (Shredded Bamboo Stirfried) | Nấm Xào (Mushroom Stirfried)
Each little dish of small eats is priced at $2.99, so you just pick what you want from the menu and they’d all come served together (love the servingware, by the way).
And I liked how you’d get a decent-sized bowl of porridge (congee). The style here differs from Teochew Muay in that the congee is gruelly and thickish as opposed to Teochew Muay’s lightly cooked porridge where you can see discrete (but soft) grains of rice sitting in soupy water.
Of course, these Vietnamese-style selections are different from the Teochew dishes in Singapore, with pickled melon instead of chye buay (salted vegetables), pei dan (century eggs) instead of salted eggs, stir fried shredded bamboo / mushrooms etc… most of them with a different and slightly sweeter, more cloying flavour profile. But I still enjoyed it.
And look… here’s how low the stools are. My knees are higher than the top of the table!! I hope they keep it this way… :D
This was one of the cutest brunch experiences I’ve had in awhile. The little touches that HM Quan has done makes eating what’s probably an unfamiliar dish (to many Melbournians) more accessible and fun. I apologise for drawing comparisons and parallels with Singapore-style Teochew Muay, but this meal felt comforting to me because it reminded me so much of that style of hawker dish which I grew up with back home.