Vincent's Noodle House has long been serving Lidcombe locals affordable Asian cuisine. While they no longer appear to be a small family-run business, having moved in to Dooleys Catholic Club, they're still bloody popular.
Their pho dac biet (special beef noodle soup) at $10 costs more than your average Vietnamese cheap eat, but for the extra few dollars comes quality, reliability and consistency. The blanched noodles are slippery and soft and mix freely with tendon, tripe, beef meatballs, thin slices of rare beef and its garnish of sliced onion, shallots, coriander, basil and bean sprouts.
The slowly simmered beef broth is aromatic with star anise, cinnamon and ginger and is a brilliant example of the classic dish.
Pho dac biet (special beef noodle soup)
There's no sauce better to accompany pho than a bit of sate chilli sauce mixed with hoisin sauce.
Vietnamese condiments including hoisin sauce, chilli sauce, fresh cut chillis, soy sauce, fish sauce, vinegar and chilli sate sauce
Another favourite I adore is this simple hu tieu (combination rice noodle soup, $9.50) which is poached chicken, beef, prawn and bok choy with thin rice noodles in a cleansing stock soup. I think this has been westernized as there are no signs of pork liver, Chinese celery, fried shallots or garlic chives. I always add on two banh tom don (crispy prawn cakes, $1 each). The shrimps when eaten whole are crunchy and flavoursome, adding oomph to the noodle soup.
Combination rice noodle soup with crispy prawn cakes
On this particular day, the crispy skin chicken in my mi ga da don (crispy chicken with egg noodle soup, $10) is disappointingly dry. It is the first time from about twenty other occasions where I've ordered this same dish. The skin is usually golden, glossy and crispy, hiding piping hot tender chicken meat beneath.
Egg noodle soup with crispy skin chicken
Vincent's Noodle House also does a mean crunchy noodle ($12.50) which is an off-the-menu special you can request for. It is essentially a beef stir fry with a big slab of deep-fried noodles. They're naughty but moreish.
Beef stir fried with crunchy noodles
I can never leave a Vietnamese restaurant without ordering a traditional iced drink. At Vincent's, they range from $3 - 4. Here we have the nhan nhuc da (dried longans in a rock sugar syrup with shaved ice), che dau xanh (mung bean with shaved ice) and the nuoc dua (coconut). They're refreshing but are pricey at half the cost of a meal.
Icy Vietnamese drinks
Vincent's Noodle House
Level 1, Dooleys Lidcombe Catholic Club
24 John Street, Lidcombe, NSW
Phone: (02) 8745 6100