{Review} Suburban awesomeness @ Nghi Ngan Quan

Suburban restaurants are awesome. They cater to the local community so this would eventually mean that they’re usually cheaper than the city ones and serve unpretentious foods. They don’t aim for chef hats or Miele awards but they target your belly and are more merciful towards your wallets. Yes. In short, I love them because suburban restaurants ‘3you 1pi 3you 1qi’ (only attempt if you speak Hokkien), are affordable and delivers great food – usually. Buried deep in Ferryden Park, where there is a very strong Vietnamese influence and presence, Nghu Ngan Quan is worth the effort of travel for. A Vietnamese restaurant within a Vietnamese community, it’s got to be good. Here, the portions are humongous and the atmosphere is one of maximum noise, warm lighting and smoky stinky hair and clothes (cue tabletop barbecue grillers). Cheap comfort food at its best.  Yam and prawn fritters arrived as starters. Salty and crunchy prawns that scalded our tongues. At a dollar apiece, it was well worth it. This entry is actually a combination of three separate visits. You’ll find that there isn’t a lot of variation in our choices. We got hooked with the bbq but will definitely try something else next time! To start, we ordered XL portions of the Spicy Pork Noodle Soup but swapped the bún (vermicelli) for pho (flat rice noodles). Imagine your basketball cut into two portions. That was the size of the bowl. The pho was bouncy and such a delight to slurp down the hatch. The broth was refreshingly tangy with generous slices of pork and pork balls. Yum. The bún riêu was next. The menu read ‘Crab-flavoured vermicelli’. We swoon over anything that reads ‘crab’ and jumped for this. The dish was another appetite whetter its slightly sour and light flavour. The fun part was fishing for the bits of crab swimming around the bowl. Another hit! Now the first time I paid NNQ a visit, I spied were many patrons having fun with the BBQ and steamboat options. With these images in mind, we ordered the ‘Bò 7 Món- 7 Dish Beef‘ listed under the ‘Grill Yourself’ category in the menu. Seven beef dishes for the grill, exciting much? Gơi bò – beef salad – came first. Raw celery and raw onions gave the dish an interesting element of crunchiness. The sweet sauce only helped make everything all the more better. Hit!

Next came a heavy platter of beef, beef and more beef. Clockwise from left starting from the lemons: Vinegar-marinated, patties, big slab of butter, beef wrapped in perilla leaves, sesame beef and the little platter in the middle was some sort of carpaccio seasoned with lemon and pepper. And we got grilling. Cooking your own food but not having to do the dishes is a great feeling. The staff also brought us a large bowl of dipping sauce and what looked like two packets’ worth of rice paper. On the healthy side of things, there was an A3-paper-sized platter of mint, iceberg lettuce, vermicelli, carrots, cucumber and PINEAPPLE! Who knew pineapple could be so smashing in rice paper rolls?

As if we haven’t had enough to eat, the last of the 7-beef medley was a monster bowl of cháo bò – beef congee. Unnaturally sweet and savoury, the congee was the perfect gut cleanser to our greasy gluttony. Genius idea 🙂

The menu is extensive and out of the corner of my sly eyes, I caught sight of the neighbouring table’s totally delicious looking giant egg omelette-like dish. And by giant, I meant rugby-sized. Wow.

We washed everything down with durian smoothies. The end result was clothes bursting at the seams and a feeling of great content.

Highly recommended.

Nghi Ngan Quan on Urbanspoon

Nghi Ngan Quan | Shop 4/34 Wright St, Ferryden Park, 5010 | (08) 82446003