Friday, 17 March 2017

Flavourful Vietnamese Lunch

Refreshing light flavours in the green mango salad starter
Moi Moi by Luke Nguyen is a relatively new Vietnamese restaurant opened by the Vietnamese-Australian celebrity chef.

On the menu is a wagyu beef pho where the broth has been simmering with beef bones for 18 hours along with spices and herbs.

However it's only available at lunchtime, and so today I had planned to take the day off but in the end had to work in the afternoon because we are so short-staffed in the office at the moment.

Nevertheless, I made sure I was free for lunch and went there with my friend at noon. It wasn't full when I arrived just before noon, but it soon filled up and by 12.30pm there was a line up at the door.

Slices of wagyu beef are hidden under the beansprouts
Customers can't just order the pho though, they need to order the set lunch, which includes a starter for HK$168 and an extra HK$28 for dessert.

We each ordered different things on the menu to try. We had the paper rice rolls with prawns, kurobuta pork, rice vermicelli and perilla that was pretty straight forward.

However, things were interesting with the green mango salad, that had julienne carrots, green mango and red onion, mint and shallot chips with small chunks of Australian spanner crab and rambutan too.

It was so refreshing and the flavours were piquant, particularly the tart green mango and mint, while the crab meat was generous and rambutan added a bit of sweetness.

For our mains, the wagyu beef pho arrived in a giant bowl with the simmering full-flavoured broth. A heap of beansprouts was on top of the thin slice of semi-cooked beef along with other cooked chunks that had a bit of fat on them, along with some basil leaves.

A crunchy and warm banh mi that is choc full of ingredients
This was the ultimate comfort food -- hearty, warm, but not too heavy, full of flavour and lots of broth you don't mind drinking because you know it doesn't have MSG in it.

We also shared a banh mi, featuring a warm crunchy baguette filled with chargrilled pork patties, pork floss, and Vietnamese pickles. There's some shredded carrot in here too along with coriander and spring onions.

The baguette holds up to the filling very well, keeping pretty much crunchy, while one needs a pretty big mouth to squeeze the sandwich in, or it somehow needs to be squished to get a mouthful.

It's a very hearty sandwich, and very filling too. We were quite full by the time we finished our half of the banh mi and couldn't manage sampling dessert.

While the price is pretty expensive for lunch in Central, the lunch set minus dessert is definitely filling. Even if I worked in Central I could not afford to eat this everyday, but the flavours linger in your mind and so you can't go without it for too long...

Moi Moi by Luke Nguyen
G/F, Nexxus Building
41 Connaught Road Central
2808 1086

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