Viet Mama Cafe is a new Northern Vietnamese restaurant on Victoria Drive. They serve different styles of pho, rice rolls, and vietnamese coffee!
What is the difference between Northern and Southern Vietnamese Food?
Some say Northern Vietnamese cuisine is influenced by the Chinese but the birth of bun cha (meat balls) and the famous ‘pho’ took place in this region. Due to the colder climate, Northern Vietnamese food tends to be less spicy as the weather impacts the availability of certain ingredients such as chilies.
The Southern Vietnamese cuisine often serves sweeter, spicier dishes from the uses of sugar and coconut milk, an influence from Cambodia and Thailand. Due to the warmer climate, Southern Vietnam can grow more vegetables, fruit and sustain livestock well. This is why is more herbs and vegetables are used in signature dishes like hu tieu nam vang and banh mi op la
Entree: Rice Rolls
Meat Rice Roll / Banh Cuon Nhan
Ingredients: Rice flour with pork, shrimp, fried ham, pork meat balls, fried shallots, and vegetable served with fish sauce
This is the first time I tried a Vietnamese rice roll and I enjoyed the thinness of the crepe as it reminded me of my Cantonese rice rolls. However, I wish there was more filling because according to my Chinese-Vietnamese friend, she is use to rice rolls with more fragrant filling. It was true, at times, I forgot what I was eating as the rice roll masked the flavours of the filling
I absolutely loved the fried ham and pork meatballs in this dish! The star could have been the pork meatballs because it was soaked in a fish sauce broth and with the addition of chilis, it was a fragrant bite!
Special Beef Noodle | Pho Dac Biet
Beef Brisket, Rare Beef, Beef Balls
The beef broth flavour was subtle as other spices such as lemongrass swept the broth towards a sweeter side. So, the broth ends up being very light and clean but no complaints about that.
I love the portion of meat they gave in this bowl. There were no complaints at my table about the beef ball and definitely none for the brisket and rare beef.
My only observation was that the noodles were quite short and made it difficult to pick up with my chopsticks!
Crab Meat Noodle with Fish Cakes | Bun Rieu Cua Cha Ca
Real Crab Meat, fish cake, tofu, Vegetables
I have seen variations of this dish on Instagram and from other well known Vietnamese restaurants on the block. I loved the texture of the fish cakes as it was filled with dill!
The tomato broth would have excelled even more if there were slices of tomatoes. This is because the tomatoes in the broth had most of its fresh, tangy flavour extracted and only traces of its flesh was left. Potentially more dill would have elevated the dish more too but can’t say too much as I am not a culinary expert on Vietnamese cuisine!
Although I didn’t take pictures of the Vietnamese coffee, it is highly recommended with your meal! The interior was definitely the cleanest and most modern compared to other Vietnamese restaurants. As Viet Mama Cafe is still in soft opening mode, their simple menu really helps those who struggle with choosing a dish!
Note: I am not a Vietnamese food expert, if corrections need to be made, please let me know!