A very delicious and colourful salad with char-grilled beef
A popular Vietnamese joint in Central is by the escalator on Wellington Street. It used to be called Nha Trang, but about six months ago changed its name to Bep and the interior looks more casual.
What has remained the same are the long queues, because the food is basically the same delicious dishes and bowls of noodles people have loved to eat over the years.
My relatives and I hit this spot on Saturday night, and by the time we arrived around 8.30pm we were lucky there wasn't too long of a wait.
This is one of their favourite places (and they were hungry) so they were eager to try several dishes, whereas I was fine with a bowl of pho and rice paper rolls.
Pho = comfort food!
One of the new dishes we tried was goi bo, char-grilled beef salad, with chopped cucumber, red onion, tomato and herbs, lemongrass, crushed peanuts and lime dressing. The beef was very tender and sweet-tasting, and the salad was refreshing and crunchy with a zesty taste.
We also ordered cha gio, Vietnamese fried spring rolls with pork, shrimp, wood-ear and jicama, or Mexican turnip. I didn't appreciate them as much as the tom cuon, the prawn rolls, with herbs and roasted peanut. I like the freshness of the natural flavours, rather than being deep-fried.
Nevertheless, my pho tai, with thin slices of tenderloin that arrived bright red and had to be further poached in the lovely beef and chicken broth that's perfect comfort food. The broth really is the best part, as the restaurant says pork and chicken bones are added to the stock to give it even more flavours, as well as star anise, cinnamon and dried fruit peel.
I was about to order a lime soda, but when my relative ordered a fresh young coconut I couldn't resist either! Again, it hit the spot and was a perfect complement to the meal.
They also ordered a banh me thit, a baguette sandwich with crisp pork belly, liver pate, assorted cold cuts, house-made pickles and cucumber, but I was too full to even have one bite! Again they said it was very good.
In the end our bill came to around HK$609 for three of us. Cheap and cheerful on a Saturday night!