Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A quick Vietnamese bite at Madame Nhu

The proliferation of small, casual eateries throughout inner city suburbs can only be a good thing. An alternative to full-blown meals (and matching bills), a quick and light dinner at Madame Nhu was just the thing after several drinks in Surry Hills recently.

Grilled lemongrass Vietnamese pork sausages at Madame Nhu, Campbell Street, Surry Hills
From the same people behind Xage restaurant on Crown Street, Madame Nhu occupies a small, tiered space on the corner of Campbell and Foster Streets, directly opposite Bar H.

Despite an extensive pho noodle soup offering, of which I'll have to try next time, we elected a few lighter options like the Vietnamese pork sausages from the snacks menu.

The skewered portions of the sweet, porky sausage highlighted with fragrant lemongrass flavours would make for a great bar snack, wrapped in leaves of butter lettuce and dipped into the sweet nuoc mam style sauce with chilli.

Fruit soda (left) and young coconut juice (right)
With a decent range of non-alcoholic beverages, we got on to two winners in the house made, super sweet passionfruit soda, served with ice in a jar and garnished with a mint sprig, and the young coconut juice with coconut flesh.

The latter was a sweetened drink but so delightfully true to coconut flavour otherwise, unlike most commercial brands of coconut water.

Silken tofu with Sichuan pepper salt and chilli
A main dish, the salt and pepper tofu featured cubes of the soy bean curd in a crisp, crumbed coating that didn't quite have enough seasoning to justify its name. The chilli and coriander garnishes were entirely necessary help, as too a dunk in the dipping sauce.

Grilled Hội An-style squid papaya salad, five-spice soy dressing
We had a salad as another main, featuring lightly grilled rings of squid atop a shredded green papaya salad. There were plenty of peanuts, bean sprouts and little dried shrimp tossed through the salad as well as a generous and tender addition of five-spice and soy dressed squid.

Madame Nhu doesn't mess about for a quick Vietnamese bite. There's a modern, if not Westernised, touch to the food and menu, but it is Surry Hills after all, and I think the more quick, easy and reliable places around here, the better.

Madame Nhu Surry Hills on Urbanspoon


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Alas we didn't have such a great meal there. It was such a shame as I was catching up with friends that I hadn't seen in a long time.

Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

Love Vietnamese sausages! The tofu looks good too but shame it wasn't spiced up enough for you.

Amy zhong said...

the tofu looks good, wish it was nicely spiced tho! im a sucker for all drinks in jars!

missklicious said...

keep meaning to try this place for lunch! thanks for the review, food looks decent

Tina said...

Hi Lorraine - Oh, that is a shame. There's a lot more of the menu I mean to try yet...

Hi Helen - Aren't they the best?! Though I would have thought it's hard to go wrong with S&P tofu.

Hi Amy - I think drinks in jars is here to stay :)

Hi missklicious - Lots more on the menu too!


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