We are very fortunate to have a proliferation of small, casual eateries in Surry Hills to choose from. These days, a fine proper eat-down dining is just not a viable choice for the time-poor, cash-trapped students and office workers nearby. Most of us are after a quick, light and delicious lunch without too much fuss.
Madame Nhu is a good choice and coincidentally it is the hottest cafe (day)/bar (night) in Surry Hills.
This is a tiny corner eatery located on Campbell and Foster Streets. The set-up looks simple and you can expect the service to be quick-and-easy. Don't let the plain exterior decor fool you. This is not a plain-jane, eat-and-forget Vietnamese eatery. From the moment you stepped in, you will be stunned by a brazen wall-mortif of the dragon lady herself - Madam Nhu holding a gun giving the diners the ultimatum to "Eat Pho, Drink Beer".
Madame Nhu is bringing old Saigon to Sydney. The menu is based on a concept of delivering fresh, authentic, quality Vietnamese street food. The choices are limited during lunchtime and the dishes are inexpensive.
This grilled beef salad was a winner.The grilled beef stripes were well-marinated and tasted flavoursome with a hint of sweetness. It was complemented by a chili lime vinaigrette, colurful pickles and copious amounts of fresh vermicelli noodles.
It tasted really fresh and delicious when mixed all together.
We also ordered Madame Nhu's legendary beef pho ($11.90). Pho is a common dish in Sydney but it can be a hard one to master. This Classic Pho Noodle Soup was filled with tender thick-cut Tasmanian grass-fed beef brisket on a flavorsome secret broth which was gently brewed for eight hours.
The pho noodles was fragrant and silky smooth. We loaded our pho with the complementary fresh bean sprouts, chili, basil and lemon juice, and together they made this bowl an ultimate comfort food. It was healthy, refreshing and just beautiful.
This is a good eatery for a cheap, tasty Vietnamese lunch. With the famed Spice I Am and Longrain just around the corner, Surry Hills has become a great triangle for great south-east Asian dining venue. Come back during the night, you will see a different side of Madame Nhu.