Working in the CBD, I occasionally head off to fortitude valley to have lunch. Last week, my friend was suggesting that we grab Vietnamese food, so we did some research and one name that stuck out at us was The Vietnamese, which is situated on Wickham Street. Whilst I haven't been before, this store has been around from as early as I can remember, and has withstood the test of time.
We arrived at around 12 to take one of the last remaining tables. I could see most of the clientele were there on their lunch break, which was reassuring as we had concerns for making it back in time to work. The menu was a bit old and tattered, but contained a good selection of both Vietnamese, and interestingly, Chinese dishes.
Water was provided quickly. But it actually took a very long time for us to flag down a waiter, as they were either taking other tables orders or clearing tables or seating other customers. What was very surprising for us though, was the fact that the time it took for the food to come out was much quicker than it was for us to get the attention of a waitstaff.
My companion ordered the Flat Rice Noodles with Beef. This was deliciously stir fried with sauce. My companion commented that the rice noodles weren't as fresh as he would like, as it had a bit of sour aftertaste, however the beef and veges were generous. Having tried a bite myself, my immediate impression was how oily the noodles were. The beef was quite tender, and the veges were standard fare.
Whilst our experience with the stir fried noodles wasn't ideal, I really enjoyed the Pho. It came very quickly with slices of very tender rare beef, and very fresh rice noodles, which was confusing, considering the rice noodles in the stir fried dish wasn't fresh. The soup was very strong in flavour, which is always welcome, and was garnished with an abundance of herbs, and interestingly topped with pepper, which is not something you usually see in pho. Whilst it wasn't the most generous bowl of pho I've had, it was sufficiently filling, and I would definitely return for another bowl.
Price Range: $10 - $20pp