Immediately on walking into the establishment, we knew we were in safe hands: the simple décor, large 3D tapestry art on the wall and specials-laden whiteboard all screamed to us that we were in line for an authentic Perth-style Vietnamese experience. The only thing missing was the standard Good Luck Cat statue at reception (although its place was ably taken by the largest red tassle ornament that any of us had seen).
By coincidence (and brought on in part by the Deliberator’s signature tardiness), all four Bloggers were starving prior to arrival. This, coupled with the Bloggers’ recent Asian food drought, resulted in the Brains (being the long-established designated orderer at all Asian restaurants) proceeding to put Mekong through its paces by ordering a plethora of old favourites plus a selection of intriguing new dishes.
Starters of stuffed chicken wings, satay sticks, pork and prawn rolls and fried wantons admirably managed to take the edge off (although, and with no disrespect to Mekong, we would gladly have eaten a plate of sheep dags in our famished and emaciated state). This was followed by chilli pepper squid, Saigon-style chicken, Vietnamese pork fillets (big winner) and thick beef curry, accompanied by rice, noodles and Vietnamese bread. (Note: Vietnamese bread looks and tastes exactly like every other bread roll the Bloggers have ever eaten in Perth. Obviously a testament to the proliferation of Vietnamese bakeries in the city.)
Staff were very friendly and attentive, and very quick to bring out food and top up glasses. A lack of spoken English at times only served to enhance the authentic feel (although it could also have contributed to our Saigon duck somehow turning into Saigon chicken between the order pad and the kitchen).
Mekong is BYO wine and beer with no (discernable) corkage. For BITO (now only 5 more blogs off that elusive first post-pregnancy wine and cheese binge), the home-made lemonade proved a winner.
As usual, the Bloggers vastly overdid it on the consumption front, and rolled out of Mekong into the night, fully sated in every respect.
Service: Very friendly and attentive.
Food: Ticked all the boxes. The couple of "experimental" dishes ordered were well worth straying off the beaten track for.
Ambience: Authentic Perth-style Vietnamese. The missing Good Luck Cat didn’t seem to have any negative influence on the evening.
Highlight: Would have to be the Vietnamese pork fillets. And reintroducing ourselves to Thursday night Asian.
Lowlight: Being made to leave an Asian restaurant without eating duck.
Rating: 3.5 fried wantons out of 5.
Will we be back? Yes. We have unfinished business with the Saigon duck.
Details: Call them on (08) 9271 4181. The cost was $25 per head with BYO wine and more food than any human should sensibly attempt.
Coming up: After some confusion, next week will be Rembrandt’s.