Ok ... I say "Braybrook" You say "Where?" And its kinda like that. What wiki reliably informs me is classified as a Bedroom suburb, i.e. people "sleep" here and travel away for work, Braybrook is a mixture of residential and industrial with abandon fields of weeds in between. Not necessarily the first place that springs to mind when you're searching for a good meal out. But thats the fun of unexpected and surprising discoveries ... the incongruity and randomness of it all ... a bit like life ... No? *insert throwaway alain de boton soundbite here*.
With a solid tip from Lauren over at Footscray Food Blog, we paid a visit to this newly minted temple to hawker style vietnamese fare on one of our recent CBA friday nights. There is something about Spring evenings that seems to coat seemingly mundane street scenes (in this case, a snake infested patch of weeds, a busy road and some seriously ugly houses - ok thats just my take, don't hate me!) in a sort of arthouse cinematic sheen ... its the weather's natural photoshop.
With every snippet of conversation I engaged in with M, I was Sophia Loren in a big floppy straw hat. With the simple act of ordering from the gaily coloured menu, I was Catherine Deneuve looking over the rim of my Givenchy shades ... ok it was all in my head ... but our camp waiter knew the score ... he was down with it!!
Anyhoo, for starters we went with Grilled Pork Patties Rice Paper Roll, which came with this creamy slightly fishy yellowy sauce. The Pork patties taste like those Thai Sausages (their version of Lup Cheong, I'm guessing) you can buy in a packet at some of the better stocked Asian foodstores (the one opposite Aldi/Daiso in Victoria Street would be our recommend.) around.
I'm still undecided about the sauce and beyond the overpowering taste of the sweet pock, the rest of the ingredients sort of paled into the distance.
We fared better with the crispy mini rice cakes ... all yellowy with turmeric, each housing a plump little piece of prawn sprinkled with some kind of floss (which could have been alot stronger in flavour). We could have sat there and just had that for dinner. Imagine sitting down to a big plate of these, fresh herbs and lettuce for wraps and a kick arse dipping sauce, in front of the TV with a DVD of your choice on a lazy afternoon ... bliss.
For mains, we had the Fried Rice with Crab meat - a bit of a let down with the bland crab bits that were worryingly orange in colour:
A vegetable curry, heavily scented with lemon grass - beautiful:
And Shaken Beef!! The name cracks me up, but this is edging its way up into my Top 10 of dishes! Its a simply designed dish packing a maximum flavour punch!!!
Time to get the Melways out, or recallibrate the GPS for the quickest route to Braybrook. I think Quien Viet is going to be a bit of a homespun success.