Monday, November 25, 2013

Sapa Hills, Footscray by Big Fil

{Congratulations Big Fil - this is your 400th review!}

Sa Pa is an area in North West Vietnam, home to many of Vietnam’s ethnic minorities. The name has also been adopted by a comparatively upmarket Vietnamese restaurant in Footscray, somewhere with one wall decorated by a gorgeous panorama of a rice paddy located in what I assume is the hills of Sapa.

I know what you are thinking...upmarket, Footscray, must be a sell out to attract the Caucasian crowd. After all, a Vietnamese restaurant can only be any good if it comes decorated with mirrors on the walls and a cheap, causal and loud vibe right? Very wrong in this case, and while I can’t confirm whether it is always the case Snooze and myself were the only apparent non-locals amongst a group which include both families and friends indulging in an early Sunday lunch.

While the decor and service are different to most of the neighbours much of the menu is pretty typical Footscray, including pho, fried noodles and Vietnamese salads. It also includes a number of interesting but more expensive options, such as stir fried crabs and lobsters, and barramundi steam boats.

With just the two of us we decided on one of the entrees and two mains to share. Rather than the usual spring rolls or rice paper rolls Snooze had taken a shine to the vine wrapped beef rolls. A very good choice in the case, the beef moist and full of meaty flavours, the leaves nice rather than the occasional slightly bitter flavour you sometimes get.

Somewhat surprisingly, to me anyway, Snooze has taken a fancy to one of my favourite styles of fried rice, with chicken and salty fish. This is often a much stronger tasting style of rice than many diners may be used to and likely not to everyone’s taste. The version here packed a fair salty flavour punch and I thought it was very good, Snooze thought it the dish of the day.

Our third dish was off the chef's specials, the soft shell crab. Not surprisingly I liked this more than Snooze. I chose it because it is one of my all-time favourite dishes, both for the taste and texture. On the other hand Snooze does not especially like it, too many overly oily versions I suspect. Consequently while I enjoyed this she was a little indifferent. The crab itself was nicely crunchy and reasonably meaty, although the amount of onion served with the crab was probably unnecessary.

If you are in Footscray and are looking for an easy introduction to Vietnamese Food, or if more familiar but looking for somewhere just a little nicer to eat, you’ve found it.

Food – 8
Service – 7.5
Ambience – 7.5
Price – 7

112 Hopkins Street
Footscray VIC 3011
Tel: (03) 9687 5729
Sapa Hills Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

1 comment:

obelix glutt said...

Congratulations big fil on reaching your 400th post! I've recently been to Vietnam but did not get a chance to visit sapa. Will look forward to trying the soft shell crabs at sapa hills as the next best thing.

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