So I decided to do a review now, 'cos who knows when 'Rona will be sent packing? (Don't you love all the viral virus jokes and songs and memes? I reckon the Bohemian Rhapsody one is fantastic.) And we really need to support local businesses, to make sure they're still around when life returns to normal. Mr P. and I are doing our best, by getting takeaway dinners and coffees from various establishments. Gotta spread the joy, and the dinero:-)
|hi there Mr. Waiter!
Mr P. and I headed there for dinner a few days after the soft opening. We chose to sit inside the long and narrow space. We joked to the charming and friendly waitress that she must keep very fit running in and out of the restaurant to the outdoor tables. She handed us paper menus, advising us that they were working with the soft menu for a few weeks to see what people liked, and what worked for them.
|veg. spring rolls $10
Who doesn't love a spring roll? These were quite large, so it was fairly generous, even though there were only two. I found the pastry a wee bit doughy and the filling a bit bland, but they were still fresh and tasty, and a generous size. We would have them again. (And we did!)
|stir-fried veg with rice $17
Mr P. went for the stir-fried veggies, which were sadly ... like rocks! I don't mind firm veg, but these were very hard, and basically not cooked. Not a winner, I'm afraid. He liked the sauce that came with the dish though, and would have liked a bit more of it. Mr P. does love his sauce, just like those celebrity chefs you see on the telly. You know who I mean...
|grilled chicken thigh fillet with rice $18
This grilled chicken thigh fillet was pleasant enough, if not terribly exciting. The chicken was tender, and the rice was a nicely fluffy accompaniment. But the veggies were a bit too crunchy for me, and I felt it needed more flavour. I could easily eat this another time, but I'd like to try other dishes before I ate this one again.
|the Specials board (on the faux brick wallpaper)
About a month later, Mr P. and I decided to hit Ming Ming's again (just before the lockdown). We sat outside this time, as it was still warm of an evening. In fact, it's still warm at night, another month on, even though we are halfway through autumn:-) We both went for the specials this time. Even though neither of us usually eats pork, hubby decided he loved pancakes enough to handle the pork aspect.
|steamed pancakes $18
They were crispy, they were herby and porky; and the mushrooms added good flavour. (Don't ask me what the translucent squid-like objects are though). Overall, Mr P. gives the pancakes the thumbs up. Oh yes, he tells me they were rice paper sheets, not squid:-) And he really liked this dish, he tells me. Though once again, he wishes there had been another sauce to go with this, as well as the dipping sauce. I have to say I found this dish a bit confusing. Why were there rice paper sheets on the bottom? Why were the steamed pancakes apparently fried? A conundrum, my friends, a veritable conundrum. But then again, I am no expert when it comes to Vietnamese food, so perhaps this is a famous dish...
|wasabi prawns Special $29
I loved these tempura prawns, with pickles and mayo. The prawns were crunchy-coated, tender inside, delicious mouthfuls. I loved it, and have had this dish a couple of times since. I believe this will be on their full menu when the time is right - post-virus. Yay! I do love me a Japanese repast (even tho' this is a Vietnamese restaurant), so I was very happy to have this flavoursome dish.
|lemon lime & bitters $6
|sparkling wine $11
|a looooong way to the kitchen
Overall impression: fabulous and friendly service. The food doesn't always hit the mark, for the Pickings' fussy and fusty palates. But on the whole, the food is tasty and enjoyable. Perhaps they're trying not to offend Aussie taste buds, but we would love a wee bit more flavour, and a bit more ... adventure.
Postscript: Mr P. and I decided to have takeaways tonight. We enjoyed wasabi prawns (again!), spring rolls and lemongrass beef rice paper rolls, which hubby loved.
|another friendly and charming waiter
|spring rolls $10
|lemongrass beef rice paper rolls $10
Fresh and herby. Mr P. really liked these. Full of herbs, and bean sprouts, and cucumber. Another enjoyable repast tonight.