What used to be the old NNQ has been replaced with another Vietnamese eatery called Mai Kitchen. Nothing has changed inside apart from the colours of the walls and a few paintings. Of course the staff have changed too and they were ever so friendly. We got a very warm welcome at the door and it wasn't long before we were offered menus. Yes the menu definitely has changed. They weren't big on their noodle soups compared to other Vietnamese restaurants. Instead there were a lot of clay pot dishes and some more Vietnamese choices to choose from.
For drinks we had the filtered Vietnamese coffee. We were surprised that after a couple of minutes the water had gone through the filter but there were way more of the condensed milk than the actual coffee. We approached the waiter, and he said it was a little strange, it was because they forgot to add the water inside. He took it back to the kitchen and replaced us with new ones. Oopsies!!
Custard apple drink was refreshing and not too sweet.
For entree we shared the Vietnamese beef salad. The beef was mixed in with crunchy cucumbers and carrots, there was also onion which was thinly sliced. Fried shallots and mint leaves in a special dressing which tasted strongly of fish sauce, it made a pretty good appetiser. We just didn't like the prawn crackers on the side, they were soaking in the dressing which made them a little soggy to eat.
It takes a long time to make a good broth, the base for the noodle soup. For me, this wasn't the best broth, what happened to the intense flavours? It was lacking. However the noodles were very fresh.
Spicy beef noodle soup was not what I had expected, it wasn't spicy at all. I did add the extra chillis that were given to me on the side. It was a tasty bowl.
The best dish for the day was the clay pot rice. Rice cooked in a hot clay pot with ingredients on top. When it arrived at the table, the waitress offered to mix the ingredients in with the rice. However I like to do this myself, that way I can control how much sauce to add and how small or big the egg on top to be cut up. I let the rice cook a little bit at the bottom to create the crunchy texture.
I remembered this restaurant to be a very busy one, but not today. I am not quite sure why, I think they are famous for their non noodle dishes and there are definitely a few dishes on the menu that I would like to come back and try. The price is very good for the food you get.
Visit Mai Kitchen - 34 Wright Street, Ferryden Park, SA 5010 - (08) 7226 6591