Hello Auntie Darling Square
The space is more refined this time round, with outdoor seating overlooking a square and, on the inside, dark timber with forest green accents, a floor crafted from two types of stone, custom lighting and a marble-top bar.
Signature dishes such as pho (made by owner Cuong Nguyen’s mum Linda) and the banh xeo – a crispy coconut and turmeric crepe with onion, bean sprouts and jicama – can still be had, though they’ve been reworked slightly. Exclusives include an arancini-style dish that plays on Hello Auntie’s banh khot. Another standout is a saffron and turmeric rice ball, filled with spanner crab and topped with an oyster emulsion and scampi caviar.
Hello Auntie 2.0 is also more drinks-forward, with a curated saké list that Nguyen is offering as an alternative to white wine. There’s a couple of shareable cocktails served in carafes – inspired by the system at Korean barbecue joints, where a bottle of soju is left at the table for diners to pour into their glasses as they please. For example, you can get a jug of Good Morning Vietnam, a mix of soju, gin, rose tea and fresh lemon juice.
Be on the lookout for the secret drinks list printed on the coasters. Ask the staff about it, and they’ll use UV light to reveal the hidden menu. If you sit at the bar, it has its own coaster list, too.