5 Vietnamese Restaurants with a Twist

One of our favourite cuisines to enjoy here in Melbourne is Vietnamese and, luckily, there are plenty of great places to get a bite locally. What we really love are great Vietnamese eateries with a twist, whether it be an interesting design or just a cool vibe. Here are 5 of our favourites from Melbourne, interstate and abroad:

 

So9, Waterloo

 So9, Waterloo (image courtesy of So9 Facebook)

So9, Waterloo (image courtesy of So9 Facebook)

This unique restaurant combines traditional Vietnamese cuisine with modern interior design that divides the space into three stations that specialise in Bahn Mi, Pho and Banh Xeo (Vietnamese pancakes). Look out for the beautiful watercolour illustrations by Beth-Emily Gregory throughout the restaurant that really add something special.

Must Try: They’re hard to split, so you’d have to go with the delicious pork Bahn Mi or the crispy Banh Xeo.

 

The Pho Store, Shanghai

 The Pho Store, Shanghai (image courtesy of Art of the Menu)

The Pho Store, Shanghai (image courtesy of Art of the Menu)

Eccentric colour and patterns, paper collage designs and neon signs are what the design of this place is all about, making for a vibrant experience. The Pho Store specialises in - what else - but traditional Pho, served in a modern and contemporary setting.

Must Try: The Combination Pho is the winner here. It’s hearty, balanced and well seasoned - exactly what you want from a good Pho.

 

Pho Nom, Melbourne CBD

 Pho Nom, Melbourne (image courtesy of Pho Nom)

Pho Nom, Melbourne (image courtesy of Pho Nom)

This joint specialises in ethically sourced hawker-style Vietnamese street food delivered in a fast casual setting. We love the use of colourful street art illustrations offset against the use of brick and cinder blocks to really bring an urban vibe to great Vietnamese street food.

Must Try: As you would expect, the Pho is great, but a real surprise winner are Pho Nom’s amazing rice paper rolls, bursting with freshness and flavour.

 

Paperboy Kitchen, Melbourne CBD

 Paperboy Kitchen, Melbourne (image courtesy of Broadsheet)

Paperboy Kitchen, Melbourne (image courtesy of Broadsheet)

Despite its compact size, Paperboy Kitchen packs a punch in terms of design and food. The use of industrial style wood and concrete interior combines seamlessly with vibrant greenery, grocer store decor and an open view kitchen. The serving concept is also a winner, with a number of options available in ‘Roll or Bowl’  - Bahn Mi style or served in a bowl with rice noodles.

Must Try: The Spicy BBQ Pork is great in both roll and bowl form, and the Crispy Fried Chicken is top notch as well.

 

Ho Chi Mama, Melbourne CBD

 Ho Chi Mama, Melbourne (image courtesy of Good Food)

Ho Chi Mama, Melbourne (image courtesy of Good Food)

The perfect place for a night out combines urban design, modern Vietnamese and some awesome cocktails from the bar. Neon signs, street art and classic ‘90s hip-hop cranking through the sound system add to the killer vibe. The food meets the mark as well with bahn mi sliders, black sesame ice cream and the innovative ‘phoplings’ (shanghai-style soup dumplings filled with pho).

Must Try: The phoplings are not to be missed, but our pick are the top-notch chicken skewers.