When one of my colleagues was raving about a fairly new Vietnamese restaurant in South Yarra that was offering mushroom pho on the menu, I knew I just had to try it out. Hanoi Hannah is this indie hip Vietnamese just off of Chapel St and High St is a great place to hang out with friends on a Sunday afternoon. Looking for a cheap Vietnamese eat but can’t be bothered driving up to Footscray or down to Springvale, then this is the place to go.

2014-02-16 Hanoi Hannah (1)

2014-02-16 Hanoi Hannah (5)Fresh tofu, shitake, pickled cucumber and carrot rice paper rolls. $5.5

The rice paper roll was okay stand alone, but the roll was cold, loosely wrapped. But without the dipping sauce, it was a bit plain.

2014-02-16 Hanoi Hannah (6a)Vermicelli salad with grilled chicken $12.00

2014-02-16 Hanoi Hannah (7a)Mixed mushroom pho $11.00

What made Hanoi Hannah stand out for me the most was the option for vegetarian pho. They offer a mushroom Pho made from vegetarian stock and it was delicious, all the essential flavours were still there and the serving was as generous as it would have been if you had gone to a Vietnamese restaurant in Springvale of Footscray. The mushrooms due to their umami flavoured nature gave the broth a nice rich flavour and ‘meaty’ texture. If there was one thing I would improve on this dish it would be the lack of variety of mushrooms. There was only enoki and oyster mushrooms, not even a single shitake!

2014-02-16 Hanoi Hannah (8)Vermicelli salad with BBQ pork $12.00

The vermicelli rice noodles with lemongrass chicken or the lemongrass pork version were both quite tasty but just didn’t hit the right spot for me or my Vietnamese buddy. My Korean friend though, was quite happy with what she ordered which was the vermicelli salad with grilled chicken.

I love the concept of Hanoi Hannah, it provides a different atmosphere to your average Vietnamese restaurant dining that is refreshing while not trying to break the bank. It’s sort of like hawker style food but not quite because you are still dining on proper tables and chairs but on a warm summer night, this is definitely a wonderful way to spend the evening with some good friends.

Hanoi Hannah on Urbanspoon

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