16 May St Cloud Vietnamese Restaurant
As we drive past in the nighttime we see a double story lit up restaurant, the lights lit although dim, and the room takes on a multicoloured hue accentuating the fun and laid-back vibes. The treasured restaurant we visited is located in Hawthorn East and is called “St Cloud”. One of the best Vietnamese eating-houses in Melbourne!
As we walk and get closer to enter the building the sound of the music becomes louder and more enchanting. Just one step into this gorgeous restaurant, my head turns to look back at Michael, my eyebrows have raised as if to say.. “we are in for a good night”!
With the most welcoming and sweetest staff, we were then seated directly opposite the chief’s kitchen where you could watch the magic being made!
We had the great pleasure of a gentleman serving us for the night who advised us on the amazing banquette we would be enjoying throughout the night.
Firsts thinks first, drinks! I had begun with a delicious full flavoured Vietnamese cocktail which consisted of vodka, lychee passion, watermelon, pomegranate, lemon, egg white and to top it off an apple fan. It was off to an amazing start, it almost looked too pretty to drink, and tasted wonderful!
To start the banquette we had three entrees. First being the Spring rolls that were served with lettuce, nuoc cham, mushroom and jicama which were crispy on the outside and delicious on the inside. What I love most about trying new restaurants especially Asian, is the new tastes I get to explore. This definitely comes with the Banh Khot which is a turmeric and coconut pancake. It was like eating a cloud, soft fluffy and sweet. It was nothing I had ever tried before. It was paired up with a fishy but sweet sauce, which was really impressive and appetising! Next up was the finger licking Sticky Chicken Wings. The meat just fell apart and you couldn’t help but to use your hands and thoroughly enjoy the meal! There was a fishy sauce mixed with caramel burnt onions that was absolutely divine! Under the chicken wings the dish was layered with crunchy, yet parts soft of sticky rice that absorbed all that goodness from the sauce. Defiantly recommend this one! Lastly we enjoyed the Lightly Cured Market Fish, this dish really showed the talent coming from the kitchen! The dish was filled with delicate pieces of cucumber, dill, fried shallots, smoked tomato and crisp rice crackers to compliment the dish.
By this stage we were feeling very satisfied and full! Our taste buds were loving life! While waiting for our mains we wandered up the stairs to the roof top bar. The scenery was so cruisey yet elegant that it would make for any scenario. Either after work drinks or a nice dinner with your loved ones.. it just works! Mains. The Caramel Pork Belly was exceptional! Served in a clay pot and submerged in a gorgeous sauce, the pork belly came out crispy, tender and seasoned perfectly. We had three side dishes that balanced the dish superbly. For something light and uplifting I really enjoyed the Vietnamese Slaw. Red and white cabbage, pickled onions, fried shallots and a beautiful creamy sauce! Of course you can’t go wrong with sticky rice that we mixed through with all our dishes. To warm us up we had a chilli pumpkin salad which was rather spicy. You like spice? Then this is your side dish!
I can really say by this stage we are nearly in a food coma! We couldn’t get over how much food was served within this banquette, it’s unreal and entirely worth it!
My favourite time of the night, dessert. I had never tried a Vietnamese dessert before so I was really excited to try it! Everything so far had been absolutely remarkable! Can dessert top our experience off?
The deconstructed meringue left me scrapping the plate! Presentation for me is a huge factor, this plate was colourful, delicate and simply heavenly! It had thinly sliced peaches positioned around the meringue with a fluffy rich custard. The combination was perfect!
Overall St Cloud will give you a taste of Vietnamese family cooking that is refreshing yet so tasty. It allows you to taste and see a range of dishes that extends beyond rice paper rolls and pho. Not only will you completely love the food, you will enjoy the cheerful, welcoming atmosphere the place is surrounded by. My compliments go out to the marvellous chefs and the lovely service we had from the very moment we walked through them doors.
Thank you for Inviting us!