LE VIETNAMESE KITCHEN
For a while, Le Vietnamese Kitchen had been seducing us, especially after Innie-the-ponsonby-eatery-extraordinnaire recommended it — and what better time than the Husk’s team end-of-year Christmas lunch? Expectations and temperatures were high as we braved the midday sun carrying our Christmas gifts all the way up a steep hill and along the street to amused stares (ponsonby parking is dumb). Needless to say, we were all in real need of an icy-cold drink and some shade when we got there! Familiar wicker lanterns welcomed us along with splashes of tropic décor and blue-and-white crockery – an amiable waiter took us through to the courtyard where ornate statues and strung lights opened up to the clear skies. The plastic covering and lack of ventilation, however, made the place feel like an oven (to motivate cocktail sales we jokingly presumed) and it worked. Their exotic cocktails and imported beers were something to behold. The spring rolls were pleasantly-crisp (though the dipping sauce could do with a little more punch) and their meats were well-seared and juicy to the last bite. The food presentation got the most points — wicker and clay made a beautiful contrast with the rich colours of their sauces and fresh herbs. Needless to say, our phone-cameras were pretty busy before our mouths got busy. Recommended.
Louise had the satay chicken skewers, coconut prawns and drank a lemon mojito. She said ‘Loved the wicker lampshades and the hanging ferns in metal containers; loved the mojito and the coconut prawns. I personally would’ve loved more airflow out the back (it was a hot day) and the service to be much more prompt – there was a drag of nearly 30 minutes between giving us menus and taking our orders – but nevertheless, I shall return! A lovely spot to celebrate our Husk EOY lunch.
Innie had the three layers of tofu and drank a mocktail ice tea. She said ‘love love love.’
Katie had the hanoi rice noodles with grilled pork belly, vegetarian spring roll and herbs and drank a hue cooler with bombay, midori and lychee. She said ‘loved the wicker baskets lined with bamboo leaves! Servings were quite substantial (translation: I was stuffed) & space was a bit hot, though.’
Mel had the Beef noodles and drank a lemon mojito. She said ‘Totally loved it, yummy food, just a little hot out the back.’
Joe had the market fish and drank a lemon mojito. He said ‘Great food, solid service and excellent setting. Overall a top shelf eatery!’
Annie had the aubergine and drank a long island iced tea. She said ‘The staff were all so welcoming. Beautiful presentation but it didn’t take long for the fresh things to wilt under the heat.’