Little Vietnam is one of the places that I can’t understand why it is so popular. Huccalily has been here many, many times, and even brought me here twice. The atmosphere is like Malaysia, very chillax. The eclectic clientele, strangely, consists teenagers, angmohs and some Geylang regulars. Sometimes I feel like a gang fight would erupt, or a prostitute would flip a table and slap a sugar daddy, or a robber would snatch my wallet off the table, but I’ve a vivid imagination. Haha.
The food is middling and cheap, and I guess, you can call it “authentic,” although I don’t like to use that dirty word. Goi cuon (rice paper roll, 2 pc, $3) is
bland healthy. Oc nhay (salt water snails or gong gong, $5.50, pictured above) is peppery and a bit tough with a strange tail attached to the creature. Goi rau muong bo (morning glory with beef $5.50) is just to pretend we are healthy and have some fibre. I order Pho dac biet (beef combo pho $7) twice and it is ok, not fantastic but not bad too. Huccalily always orders the Com ga xa voi trung (a piece of lemongrass chicken steak over rice and egg $5.50), which she likes a lot.
I think both drinks, chendol (Banh lot, $2.50) and Vietnamese chng tng (sam bo luong, $2.50), are substandard but Huccalily loves the chng tng, citing it has lots of leow (ingredients). I thought it tastes earthy, not a good description for chng tng.
The popularity of the place could be accounted because of its affordability, “authenticity” (ARGH!), and the relaxing atmosphere. You can get away with $10 per person. The food was ok niah. But we would probably be back because we hipsters like to lounge around in sleazy areas, and pretend we cool. (Note how cool I am, I omitted the verb “are” between “we” and “cool.”)
511 Guillemard Road, Grandlink Square #01-25, Singapore 399849
Rating: 3.281/5 stars
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.