Vermicelli Soup with Crab Meat at Thuy Huong Coffee Lounge, Marrickville
I want to go to Vietnam. The history fascinates me, the landscape fascinates me, and most of all, the food fascinates me. But I’m beggining to realise that experiencing true Vietnamese cuisine (beyond rice-paper rolls and noodle salads) while maintaing a pescatarian diet ain’t no easy feat.
Last week, I accidentally scarfed a bowl of beefy pho at Pho Pasteur. And though I kind of (not so) secretly loved it, I want to see if I can avoid hidden meat during my trip to They Huong, so I order the Vermacelli Soup with Crab Meat.
Turns out, the soup is made from pork broth. I suspect it at first bite, and a nod from the waitress confirms it.
At this moment, I could well throw the cash on the table and flee to the cafe on the corner for a lentil salad, but I don’t. I stay, eat it and just like with my beefy botch-up at Pho Pasteur, really enjoy it too.
The vermicelli style soup isn’t the go-to order at They (everyone’s eating pho), but I think it’s worthy of just as much attention. While the broth is richer the noodles are chewier than in a pho, it is every bit as nourishing and rejuvenating. The extra spice is perfect for clearing those October sinuses!
One of my favourite things about Vietnamese food is its commitment to all things fresh and salad-y, and this dish is no exception. The side plate of lettuce, mint and coriander for tossing over the soup is one of the best ways to eat greens that I know of.
Though I don’t necessarily want to stop being pescatarian, dishes like this might become a special exception… it’s only solids that count anyway, right?
Thuy Huong Coffee Lounge
The bill: Vermacelli soup with crab meat – $10
The service: Table service, lovely and accommodating
Also on the menu: Pho, stir-fried egg noodle, banh xeo (Vietmamese crepe)
Spice it up: in case it wasn’t obvious, that chilli next to the lettuce is HOT!