Ye Wei Vietnamese Food (越味小吃馆) @ Transfer Road, Penang.
*** Ye Wei Vietnamese Food (越味小吃馆) has moved to a new location; just further down the road, few doors away from the previous place, the junction to Hutton Lane and Transfer Road.***
As Vietnamese Food is rather dearth in Penang, finding an authentic yet good Vietnamese eatery is never easy; having tasted Ye Wei Vietnamese Food (越味小吃馆), I just know where to find myself some authentic yet inexpensive Vietnamese food. Rest-assured for the authenticness as this unpretentious and unshowy coffee house is manned by a Vietnamese couple; quintessential dishes for Vietnamese eats such as Pho, Spring Rolls, Vietnamese Coffee are all available here. It should be quite easy to locate Ye Wei, it can be seen at the T-junction of Transfer Road and Dickens Street (the coffee house is situated at Transfer Road but facing the T junction intersecting Dickens Street). Prices are considered cheap and reasonable in Penang's context, however, the lack of air-conditioning can be unpleasant for the heat-intolerant. Nevertheless, this is the place that you should visit if you are looking for some authentic, cheap and good Vietnamese food.
I was especially enamored for these healthy yet delectable Gỏi Cuốn/ Vietnamese Spring Rolls (虾+肉越式薄饼，5 for Rm 10). Beautifully wrapped with some fresh greens, Vermicelli Noodles (Bee Hoon), Spring Onions, Shrimps and Roasted Pork, these Spring Rolls go well with their tangy and appetizing Fish-sauce dip, which completed the dish perfectly with its sweet, sour and salty notes.
As their Pho will only be available on every Saturday, Bún Mang Vit/ Duck and Bamboo Shoot Noodles (越式鸭汤米粉，Rm 7) was the only noodle dish available during my visit. I caught in a whiff of a rather peculiar smell when it was served- it was the smell of Bamboo Shoots. The savory clear Duck broth was abundant flavorsome, fortunately, the exotic smell from the Bamboo Shoots was rather mild. Sprouts, shredded Water Spinach, Duck Giblets and Duck meat, as well as Coriander can be found in this hearty bowl of noodles. I thought the dish was just mediocre.
Complimentary fresh Lime will be provided to amp up the flavors of your dishes, as well as their fiery hot Vietnamese Chili Sauce. It was so hot and spicy that caught my tongue burning, kids or those with low hot/ spicy-endurance should handle with care.
As for desserts, I had their Bánh Flan/ Vietnamese Custard Pudding (果馅饼，Rm 3.50) which everyone raves about. The wobbly Custard Pudding was covered with Ice cubes and doused with some thick and unsweetened Vietnamese Coffee. One scoop of this dessert and my eyes widen, the thick Coffee has certainly awaken my taste buds, accompanied by the chilled Custard Pudding. The combination was not sweet nor bitter, just perfectly nice to my liking. A slipshod for the preparation was the adding of Ice cubes, which diluted the flavors of the dessert and I thought the texture of the Pudding could be smoother too.
Another note-worthy choice for desserts will be their Rau Câu Dừa/ Vietnamese Jello (海藻椰子糖水，Rm 3.50) which comes with quite a number of fascinating ingredients. It has some Vietnamese Seaweed Agar-agar (Both Green and Black version), White Fungus, Barley, Longan, some Shaved Ice as well as some Syrup. While the dessert was not mind-blowing, it provides a pleasingly comforting end to the meal.
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 8/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Service: 6/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Ambiance: 6/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Parking: 5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No
Address: 168, Transfer Road, 10050, Georgetown, Penang.
Business Hour: 12pm to 12am. Closed on every Sunday.
Contact Number: 6016- 466 1929