Tuesday, November 22, 2022
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Genuine Vietnamese restaurant serves chả cá lã vọng & banh mi in Northshore Plaza


One of many perks of travelling is that you simply get to expertise distinctive cuisines not present in Singapore. 3 years in the past, I found a specific dish in Hanoi that blew my socks off referred to as Chả cá lã vọng, which is basically grilled turmeric fish. Think about how ecstatic I used to be once I chanced upon VS Cafe positioned at Northshore Plaza II, which sells the very factor I’ve been yearning for ages!

VS Cafe - restaurant front

The proprietor of VS Cafe, Diep, comes from a household that’s been within the meals enterprise since 1965. In 2005, she left her high-paying accountant job in Vietnam and moved to Singapore.

She began VS Vietnamese Delicacies on the Nationwide College of Singapore for 15 years earlier than transferring on to open VS Cafe at Pasir Panjang Street.

VS Cafe - restaurant interior

Her newest outlet at Punggol opened in Jan 2022. It has about 10 to 12 tables that may accommodate a couple of most of 40 folks in a single seating.

What I attempted at VS Cafe

For the spotlight of my go to, the Cha Ca La Vong (S$17.90 for two pax) had a particular 10% off promotion from its authentic value of S$19.90. To be eligible for it, it’s a must to order this dish by itself below a single receipt.

VS Cafe - VS Cafe - Chả Cá Lã Vọng

The set comes with a plate of Vietnamese rice noodles, a plate of blended salad and herbs, 2 bowls of dipping sauces, and the primary merchandise: a mini non-stick pot with the prized possession.

VS Cafe - VS Cafe - closeup of fish

It contained items of grilled fish that’s been marinated with turmeric, served with a great deal of recent dill and spring onion, and soaked in olive oil.

Historically again in Hanoi, catfish is used and it’s minimize up into smaller cubes. The model at VS Cafe options thick slices of snakehead fish as an alternative.

The fish was extraordinarily recent, and the fragrant turmeric flavouring totally penetrated the meat.

VS Cafe - closeup of herbs

In comparison with the favored mainstream herbs like rosemary and thyme, dill is underrated and positively deserves extra recognition and publicity— I’m glad that the Vietnamese embrace it.

Possessing a recent and citrus style with a grassy undertone, it’s the Romeo to the Juliet for seafood pairings, particularly fish!

VS Cafe - closeup of oil

The olive oil had remodeled into this beautiful concentrated elixir, which absorbed the umami flavours of the fish, the earthy tones of the turmeric spice, and the herby infusions of the dill and spring onions— simply douse it over the fish to make it style like 1,000,000 bucks.

VS Cafe - closeup of eating

I took a portion of rice noodles, paired it with a slice of fish and herbs, and doused it within the dipping sauce. “Om nom nom nom“… I chewed away as I received misplaced in its style, reliving the identical constructive meals expertise I had the final time I ate this.

VS Cafe - banh mi

VS Cafe usually sells the Banh Mi Sai Gon for S$8.90, however I ordered their combo which got here with a glass of VS Iced Milk Espresso for S$11.90 as an alternative.

VS Cafe - banh mi closeup

The baguette was full of pork slices, pork ham, a layer of pate, coriander, and pickled strips of cucumber, carrot and radish. The bread was extraordinarily crispy on the floor, but fluffy and delicate on the within.

VS Cafe - pork closeup

The pork slices and ham inside have been tender, and the tangy strips of pickled greens helped mellow down the unctuousness of the pate— my solely criticism is that they might have added extra stuffing.

VS Cafe - viet coffees

I flushed down my superior meal with the VS Iced Milk Espresso and the VS Dripping Viet Espresso (S$3.90). The iced espresso was sturdy and fragrant, an ideal perk-me-up to get you thru the day.

VS Cafe - viet drip coffee

I waited patiently for the VS Dripping Viet Espresso to work its magic earlier than I eliminated the duvet. The marginally darkish tones of the espresso grew to become lighter upon dissolving it within the condensed milk while stirring it. 

The general sweetness of the cup of joe was completely balanced, however the flavour was barely watered down as in comparison with the iced espresso.

VS Cafe - Creme caramel

I stored an unique compartment in my tummy specifically for desserts. The Banh Flan (Crème Caramel) (S$3.90) wasn’t my authentic first decide, however the different 5 varieties weren’t accessible that day.

It resembled the caramel custard dessert which I recurrently have from Taiwanese comfort shops, and was served with a bunch of ice cubes on high.

VS Cafe - Creme caramel closeup

The extraordinary eggy flavour of the wobbly flan made me consider egg tarts instantly. I picked up a barely bitter aftertaste, and was bowled over when the sauce under turned out to be espresso as an alternative of caramel.

The conflicting tastes of bitter and candy truly labored for me, and shortly I used to be hooked!

Remaining Ideas

VS Cafe - overall meal

Discovering Chả cá lã vọng in Singapore is an arduous activity, and I lately discovered that there’s just one different place which sells it. 

The model served right here doesn’t have peanuts not like those in Hanoi, and this failed to supply that crunch to completely get pleasure from this dish.

If you happen to do order this, bear in mind to pour your noodles into the fish mini pot. Give it a great stir and luxuriate in (not like me who had completely forgotten)!

Anticipated harm: S$6.50 – S$10 per pax

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Surrey Hills Grocer opens a brand new hidden cafe at ION Orchard, a breath of freshness away from the bustling metropolis

Value: $

Our Score: 4.5 / 5

VS Cafe

418 Northshore Drive, Northshore Plaza 2, #02-04, Singapore 820418

Value

Our Score 4.5/5

VS Cafe

418 Northshore Drive, Northshore Plaza 2, #02-04, Singapore 820418

Phone: +65 8540 1350

Working Hours: 11am – 9pm (Tue to Solar), Closed on Mon



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