Monday, January 27, 2014

Quê Hương Tôi Vietnamese Cafe (正宗越南小食馆) @ Jalan Jelutong, Georgetown, Penang.

The food scene here in Penang is getting really interesting, especially with all those unusual foods we are getting from other countries; we don't get to find Vietnamese food easily few years back and we are blessed with more choices right now. At the junction to the bustling roads of Jalan Jelutong and Jalan Sungai Pinang, there is this unassuming and unpretentious quaint little cafe offering unabashed authentic Vietnamese eats at very affordable prices. The place can be easily overlooked by one as there is only a small banner hanging outside the place, do find the place right next to Chevrolet Showroom at Jalan Sungai Pinang and directly opposite to Peugeot 3S Center along Jalan Jelutong. Choices are aplenty and more than sufficient to satisfy everyone's palate. Some of the notable dishes are Vietnamese Pho, Banh Mi, Vietnamese Spring Rolls and Vietnamese Coffee. This is definitely a place to look for especially for some authentic yet delicious Vietnamese eats! 

Their Vietnamese Beef Pho/ Pho Bo (Rm 6) is definitely something to die for. The clear yet flavorful broth was sweet and delicately seasoned. The copious amount of herbs and spices (Coriander/ Spring Onions) as well as the magical mix of Onions, Sprouts, Sweet Basils and Lime Juice added gives a real boost to the broth. The Beef, on the other hand, was braised till fork-tender, little effort was necessary to chew the meat up. My only complain was the use of ordinary Flat Rice Noodles/ Koay Teow instead of the Vietnamese Pho Noodles. Definitely my kind of comfort food. 

Vietnamese Barbecue Pork Chop with Fried Popiah Noodles/ Bún thịt nướng (Rm 6) was a rather straight-forward, simple but delectable dish. Blanched Vermicelli Noodles were flavored with lashings of fresh Carrots, Pickled Carrots, Toasted Peanuts, Coriander, Spring Onions, Sweet Basil, Deep Fried Shallots and Grilled Pork. The dish does not carry heavy seasonings but it was filled with crunch and crisp elements which gave the dish an interesting texture. The Pork on the other hand, was slightly rough and chewy to the bite; it tasted similar to Satay Pork without the presence of Turmeric. Decent but not mind-blowing.  

How can one not order Vietnamese Spring Rolls/ Gỏi cuốn (Rm 1.80/ piece) in a Vietnamese eatery? The one we had was a rather standard-average one with a smaller portion. I felt the dipping sauce was slightly a notch higher than the one I had at Ye Wei. It was hot, with a balance medley of sweet-sour notes; perfectly complementing the Spring Rolls. 

We had an extra order of the Vietnamese Chicken Salad/ Goi Ga (Rm 5) which consists of julienned Cabbage, Carrots, Onions, Coriander, blanched Chicken Meat and Chicken Gizzards; dressed with an addictive sauce, hitting the palate with a chili kick. The dressing commingles the sweet, spicy and sour notes which whetted up our appetites. I was amazed by how the individual elements amalgamated together; the use of Cabbage was another brilliant idea which gives a natural sweetness and crunchiness to the dish. Thumbs up for this refreshing Salad. 

Thirst-quencher was Vietnamese Herbal Tea/ Mủ gòn + Mủ trôm + Hột É (Rm 4.80) which came in refreshingly well-chilled. The slightly sweeten drink consists of Mủ gòn, a type of bitter Jelly-like substance and they are often being used to make medicinal beverages (to cool down the body's "internal heat"). Other ingredients were Basil Seeds and Toasted Peanuts which added a bit of crunch and texture to the drink. A perfect drink to counter the sweltering heat. 

Vietnamese Milk Coffee/ Cà Phê Sữa đá (Rm 2.80)

Taste: 8/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service: 7/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Price: 8/10 (1-3 expensive, 4-7 average, 8-10 cheap)
Parking: 4/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Ambiance: 7.5/10 (1-3 bad, 4-7 average, 8-10 good)
Service Charge: No
Government Tax: No

Additional Information:
Address: 56W, Jalan Jelutong, 11600, Jelutong, Penang. (Right next to Chevrolet Showroom and Opposite to Peugeot 3S Center)
Business Hours: 10am to 3pm, 5pm to 10pm for Monday to Friday; 9am to 3pm, 5pm to 10pm for Saturday and Sunday. Closed on every Tuesday.
Contact Number: 6016- 421 1244

56 Jalan Jelutong, Jelutong, 11600 Pulau Pinang, Malaysia