Hem Nine Nine
Mama Linh’s mother-and-son food-truck team, Xiao Linh Meng and Peter Wu, are behind Hem Nine Nine.
Hem means laneway, and the pair believes laneways in Vietnam are where you find the best Vietnamese food. The space is also the permanent kitchen for the two Mama Linh’s food trucks.
This space is a chance for Wu and Mama Linh to develop their Vietnamese dishes beyond what’s possible from the food trucks. The menu is different, but still has traditional flavours and recipes from Mama Linh.
Dishes include fresh minced salmon tartare with pickled leek and chive mayonnaise, served in crisp noodle nets and finished with deep-fried salmon skin.
The hero is Mama’s 18-hour beef-pho master stock. It’s used, for example, in a roasted-marrow dish: the marrow is brined in pho reduction, roasted to order and served with crunchy baguette, bean sprouts and pickled Spanish-onion salad. It’s like what you’d find in pho soup, but deconstructed. Hem Nine Nine also has its own version of pho soup. It is richer and creamier because it is done with marrow.
There is a rotation of boutique beers on tap, including Young Henrys and Willie the Boatman.