The use of bright fluorescent lights and orange cutlery, is hard to miss, especially on a dark night. The bright blue and orange sign reads ‘ Bún bò Huế’ in large writing, welcoming you in a long room lined with mirrors and menu cards. As usual, cutlery and a variety of sauce condiments adorn each tabletop.
No one at home really makes Bún bò Huế , so I only ever eat it when I go out. What makes this dish distinct is it’s use of thick cylindrical rice noodles. It’s name is derived from the former capital of Vietnam – Huế. Many restaurants refer to it as ‘Spicy Beef Noodle Soup’. The dish also contains slices of Vietnamese pork roll (Chả), pig’s blood and thinly sliced beef. Pictured above is the hot and mild one respectively; my dad took it upon himself to order me the mild one. Though I am pretty sure I have a higher chilli tolerance than he does!
Edwina ordered red rice because she sure as hell isn’t a sheep! It comes with Vietnamese meatloaf which is essentially steamed pork, egg, fungus and vermicelli noodles, and grilled pork.
One of the highlights of eating at Vietnamese restaurants is Che Ba Mau – which translates to “Three Coloured Dessert/Drink”. It is a drink, that is made up with a lot of shaved ice, mung beans, red beans, jelly and coconut milk. I had my first one at a Chinese Restaurant (what?) and it tasted horrible – largely because I hated beans as a kid and I don’t think I mixed it properly. When you first get it, you have to mush everything together as the ingredients sit on top of each other quite segregated. Once you are done you end up with this milky concoction that has pretty much derived all its sweetness and flavour from the juices of everything around it. The drinks at Gia Hội are excellent by the way, which is why from memory, they run a take-away drink service as well. I remember when I used to go Physics/Chem tutoring next door that I would see people exit the restaurant with icy drinks in hand in the summer time. Jelly.
Obligatory order of avocado milkshake – because I can and I have an unprecedented addiction for it. Medical studies about how much of it I buy, make and consume are underway and research results shall be released early next fall.
Gia Hội – Bankstown
Address: 299 Chapel Rd, Bankstown NSW 2200
Phone: (02) 9796 3388
Open 7 days