Having opened just last week, Vietnamese Laundry is endearingly still finding its feet; but with lines out the door and being sold out by mid-afternoon, this latest offering to the Banh-Mad public seems to be well received.
The site of Vietnamese Laundry was previously a laundrette on Sturt St, just off of Whitmore Square. The small space is now home to the pho restaurant and bar that was “inspired by the backstreet bars of Vietnam and street food vendors”.
With the small amount of space that they have, the crew behind Vietnamese Laundry have done an amazing job with the fit out. Contrasting textures; brick down one side, wood down the other, tiles in the middle and a concrete floor, give the space a collaborative, homespun vibe. Small touches like hopscotch leading down the corridor and old-school Vietnamese prints add a touch of colour.
As for the menu, you can expect all the usual suspects. It is split into Banh-Mi, Cold Rolls, Salad Bowls and Pho, with some extra snacks and the increasingly popular Vietnamese Iced Coffee. A boom box sits atop on the counter cranking out tunes to the line of business people and tradies on their lunch break, while the staff, dressed in pink, are extra bubbly. Although there was some confusion with orders on the day I went (it was only their second day after all), they still managed to keep the mood light and stress-free. The added outdoor seating will be a big benefit in the summer months, particular for the after work drinks crowd.
What to try:
Crackling Roast Pork Banh Mi: This Banh-Mi has the all-important 4 C’s (Carrot, Cucumber, Chilli and Coriander) as well as house-made mayonnaise and pâté. The bread, which can make or break a banh-mi, was the perfect combination of crunchy on the outside and soft yet chewy on the inside.
While Vietnamese street food is very on trend at the moment, I think this is a well-timed venture that will thrive in the summer months, and sustain a crowd by appealing to the hungry business lunchers that surround them. Worth a trip, but get in quick.
Where: 152 Sturt St, Adelaide
Price: $ very student-friendly. Banh-mi goes for around $6.50, $5.00 for pho and $11.00 for a salad bowl.
Rating: 4/5 for being Pho-king Awesome