The Brass Coq
Visit Ho Chi Minh’s B?n Thành Market and you’ll see rows of vendors all focused on just one dish. It’s an ethos owner Nick La has brought back to his new Little Lonsdale Street Vietnamese restaurant, The Brass Coq. Each member of the close-knit team is given free reign over their specialty.
Every element of the menu is made in-house, with dishes such as the Vietnamese fried chicken (VFC) summing up the approach. It uses a family recipe steeped in authentic flavours, refined with a playful twist on tradition. It’s also incredibly tender and uniquely sweet, thanks to the addition of fish sauce.
The share-dish-focused menu features all of the Vietnamese favourites – including tender beef pho, simmered for 48 hours – but ordering at least one dish from the specials board is a must.
The wine list works with the cuisine’s strong flavours and has focused on small Victorian wineries, with some French and German drops for good measure.
Come dessert, you can retire to the upstairs bar to enjoy a deep-fried pandan custard bao and a drink fireside. The cocktail menu features a standout take on the espresso martini, made with Vietnamese drip coffee, condensed milk and homemade salted caramel. You’ll find thoughtful touches throughout the list, such as sous vide tequila with grapefruit skins (rather than a classic infusion) to give Tan complete control over the flavour.