Lido Vietnamese Restaurant, Osborne Park
My daily dilemma is trying to find a place to eat for lunch, a place nearby, that also caters for good food. Usually, I only have time to go somewhere that is within walking distance (if that) and habitually have to resort to something self assembled from IGA, like a salad or a chicken roll. Luckily, today I only had half a day of work and my friend and I booked a lunch date together! She had recommended we try Lido Vietnamese Restaurant in Osbourne Park, the second venture of the same-named Northbridge restaurant. It had been a long while since I had Vietnamese food, so I was so eager to try something fresh and healthy, but filling at the same time.
The two story building was completely deserted when my friend and I arrived, the restaurant itself decking out the very top level. We were met a smiling lady, who gave us the option of sitting inside or out. The ambience inside looked dark, damp and stuffy, so we chose a table outside, appreciating the slight breeze on this particularly sweltering day. The balcony gave us a rather industrial view, mostly of the surrounding buildings and the bustling Main Street roads.
I’m fixated with rice paper rolls. I have been ever since my arduous University days, where my friend and I would trample the lunch rush, to get the last lingering rice paper rolls at the Curtin University deli. To this day, I miss my rice paper roll fix and haven’t been to Curtin for a long while now – to satisfy the itch, I ordered Lido’s version, Gỏi cuốn (pork and prawn rice paper rolls, $8.50) which came in a set of two. My friend also ordered the same, so we had a pile of four on the plate. Plump prawns, vermicelli noodles, chewy pieces of pork, and a thick sprout were blanketed in a glossy rice paper called Bánh tráng. I like my rice paper particularly thick, and these ones were beautifully smooth and glutinous. Sticky, sweet hoisin sauce and crushed peanuts added some addition flavour and crunch to these rice paper rolls. So very good.
The Bún thit nướng ($13.50) was a humongous bowl of stir-fried beef, marinated in lemongrass, with rice vermicelli. It came out and I gaped at my friend (“How am I going to finish this?!” I exclaimed). She assured me I could, and I attacked the noodles with my chopsticks. The stir-fried beef was popped on top, in plentiful portions. It had been marinated in a sticky, sweet oyster sauce and then seemingly cooked over a fiery wok, creating a BBQ-like fare, evident from its charcoal edges and smoky, garlic aroma. The fried beef was juxtaposed with the fresh rice noodles.
One thing I love about Vietnamese cuisine is its ability to encapsulate a variety of distinctive and divergent flavours. One dish can be sweet, sour and salty all at once. This dish was the personification of traditional Vietnamese cuisine. There was a salty crunch from the crushed peanuts and fried shallots on top of the meat, a pickled acerbity from the daikon and shredded carrot, a slight nutty flavor from the splash of fish sauce, and a sweetness from the marinade. The cucumber and mint, both staples of Vietnamese food, were also present in the bowl of noodles. There was some chilli on the side, if I wanted a bit of heat to the dish too, but I only dabbled in it, not having the greatest propensity for intensely hot aftertastes. I couldn’t get enough of the dish itself though – it was brilliant. I was glad the bowl was so big, especially at the end of the day when my tummy started rumbling again!
My friend ordered a tall glass of sua dau nanh ($4) a milky soya bean drink, which was beautifully fresh and cold. As much as I wanted to try out dessert, we were fast running out of time (she only had an hour lunch break). Conversation with the lady at the front was nice enough, though we ran into our fair share of awkward moments (“You’re going on a diet?” she laughed when my friend ordered her rice paper rolls and drinks … Hmm, maybe my friend was just not that hungry?).
Nevertheless, the food at Lido was exceedingly good – fresh and vibrant, with a great balance of flavours. Seeing as we were the only ones there, the dishes came out at a relatively good pace, and were particularly generous in portion sizes. The menu itself was also all embracing of different types of meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes. I thought it was definitely worth the price we paid for it. The bill ended up being $30 for the both of us, which my friend graciously paid for! Thanks M! Come to Lido for good food at reasonable prices – you won’t be disappointed.
Rating: 7 out of 10.
Address: 232 Main Street, Osborne Park 6017
- Open for lunch Monday to Friday (11 am to 3pm) and dinner every night (5pm to 10 pm).
- The food menu also includes entrees, soups, duck, chicken, beef, goat, lamb, satay, squid and scallop dishes as well as their famed noodle and rice dishes.
- Wine list also available.
- Reservations available on 9349 2919.