10 Aug House of Hoi An, Windsor
It may be just off Chapel Street, but that doesn’t mean the foodie excitement is over. Wander a few doors down, and it’s hard to miss the colourfully painted facade of House of Hoi An. It’s a place where you can delve into the cuisine of its namesake city, where dishes found on the menu might be unlike any you’ve seen before.
Perhaps not as familiar to us here as she is overseas, owner Ms Trinh Diem Vy is a Hoi An local and one of Vietnam’s most well-known restaurateurs and chefs. With over 30 years of restaurant experience in Hoi An, she’s busy running a string of three restaurants, a cooking school and food tours to boot.
We kick off with an appetiser of fried wonton skins topped with with sauteed crab meat, spring onions and tomato. Relief from the peppery crab is provided by the tomato and finely diced pineapple. It’s a tongue-awakening start to the night.
If you’re after a refreshing salad, you can’t go past pomelo. Their pomelo salad special comes with chicken, as well as unadvertised prawns. With carrot, beansprouts, coriander, Vietnamese mint and a hint of chilli, it’s bright and tasty. Even without the protein, the pomelo salad is stellar.
Particularly noteworthy is the pork-stuffed squid. The dark and handsomely coloured dish also contains shrimp, wood-ear mushrooms and mung bean vermicelli. As with the fried wonton appetiser, pepper is predominant. The heavier flavours of the dish are well suited for pairing with rice, but it’s also one I’d be more than happy to order again.
On the other end of the scale is the chicken hot pot with mushrooms. Chicken is slow-cooked with eight treasures, including red dates, wild mushrooms, barley, goji, ginkgo nuts and lotus. The light and delicate herbal broth is paired with both rice and egg noodles on the side, as well as fresh herbs and an interesting roasted sesame, garlic and chilli sauce. It has the sort of flavours that I crave when I’m feeling under the weather, or simply in need of some warming up.
End with some sweet treats such as the eggy, and smooth but firm creme caramel, whose condensed milk accompaniment is spiked with a bit of coffee. For something more fruity, sugar bananas are flambeed with rum, laid atop some sago and garnished with both toasted coconut and shaved fresh coconut meat.
It’s a bit pricey, but the food is flavoursome and unique. With all of Ms Vy’s experience now brought over to Melbourne, the cuisine of Hoi An is one we can now explore further.
Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest of House of Hoi An. Opinions expressed here are purely my own and based on my experience at the time of the visit
House of Hoi An
1/40 Green St
Windsor, VIC, 3181
(03) 9078 7448