Viet Next Door
This is Ben and Linda Phan’s modern Vietnamese restaurant next to the old-school Vietnam Restaurant in Pennington they run with their parents. It’s an Adelaide institution.
Viet next door is neutral toned, sheathed in granite, and not what you’d expect to find on Addison Road. Each exquisite eggshell-mosaic table took months of tedious work. Salvaging eggshells from Vietnam Restaurant, Ben and his team meticulously removed both membranes and laid each tiny sliver out piece by piece.
The lettuce-wrapped cheeseburger spring rolls come with a sauce that’s bang-on, and the chicken wings are done in an impossibly crisp batter.
Bo kho is a hearty, spiced-up beef stew. Instead of crusty bread or egg noodles, in it float pillowy gnocchi that are hand-rolled daily. Tomato fried rice, a Vietnamese staple, takes a slightly different form here – encasing mozzarella to form an arancini ball.
The desserts also riff on Italian classics: Vietnamese filter coffee (condensed milk included) swirls in the signature panna cotta and there’s matcha in the “tea-ramisu”.
The Vietnam-branded, $33-a-bottle pinot grigio and shiraz are house price not house quality. Two taps pour Coopers Session Ale and Asahi Black, plus cocktails are shaken up with punchy flavours such as yuzu, tamarind and Asian celery. Try the bourbon-spiked “Negroni”.