lido restaurant – northbridge
Delicious stuffed chicken wings
“Where’s lunch gonna be?” mumbles K.
This is a gleaming opportunity to go somewhere I’ve always wanted to go – without prior approval. Thank goodness for indecisive (make that non-decisive?) partners.
Sometime ago in a newspaper lift out, a local chef claimed Lido had the best vietnamese food in Perth. This really piqued my interest, seeing as nearby competitor Viet Hoa, is usually the recipient of that claim. Granted, Viet Hoa’s fresh spring rolls are great and the (rude) service is damn quick but the crowds, the queue and dusty plastic plants wear me out.
Being a gusty day and with the non decisive boyfriend in tow, today was the perfect day to try out Lido and order some pho for lunch. Actually now that I think of it, every day is perfect for vietnamese food.
As soon as we walked in, the simplistic but stylish decor drew me in like a breath of fresh air. No dusty plants, no clanking and no shouting. Topped off by technicolour lanterns, an LCD tv showing sports for the guys and a view on to William St – perfect for people watching – Lido’s decor is refreshing.
As we flipped through the menu, there were some interesting highlights – chicken fried with coca cola, anyone?
The menu is huge with the usual chinese and south east asian dishes thrown in for good measure. I think they are going for the ‘something for everyone’ approach. That is not always a bad thing because they also have traditional dishes, like prawns on sugarcane sticks and ‘shaking beef’. Before we were halfway through the menu,there was a bottle of water, the table was set and a friendly waiter ready to take our order. The service is certainly efficient.
There was hardly any time to people watch (William St is an interesting place!) because our food arrived so quickly. The restaurant was half empty which would explain the quick turnaround, but even then, this was QUICK. K couldn’t resist ordering the boneless stuffed chicken wings. I always find these stuffed chicken wings to be a luxury, as I regard gnawing around the bones of the wing as a persistent but delicious necessary evil. And at $8 for two stuffed chicken wings I was thinking they better be good.
The wings were large, plump and gloriously golden. The chicken these belonged to must have been huge. Stuffed chicken wings are stuffed in the ‘winglet’ bit of the chicken wing – the part with two bones – and the wing tip is left almost as a built in handle. I witnessed my mum making stuffed wings once (her first and only time), it’s finnicky and troublesome – it’s best to leave it to the professionals. We gingerly pick up the wings and bite in. The light golden batter encases the wing and traps the filling, resulting in each bite of the wing to be crisp and tender . The stuffing is an explosion of chicken, carrot, vermicelli and (I think) slices of fish cake. The wings are cooked to perfection. These are worth the $8!
K’s pho arrives and I’m first in, tasting the raw beef and beef ball pho. The yardstick of any vietnamese restaurant, you can tell a lot about the cooking style of the kitchen from their pho. After all, it is their master stock. The pho here is very beefy, peppery and the herbs and spices round off the bold flavour. We both like the pho very much – it has punch and not much has been held back – though I’m not sure if its a pho you can have over and over again. The rest of the pho is dependent on ingredient quality and Lido scores highly. The beef is tender, melt in your mouth and the beef balls are bouncy but not gristly.
The vermicelli with grilled pork arrives and it’s a pile of white squiggly rice noodles, topped with chopped herbs and vegetables and a mound of crushed peanuts. The pork is force meat which has been grilled on skewers and sliced up. The pork is a bit like spam and having been grilled to spotty perfection, it’s savoury with a hint of caramel sweetness. The addition of grated radish makes the dish crunchy, fresh and light. The fish sauce chilli dressing was peppery but not pungent. Overall the dish was light, refreshing and fragrant.
The meal was rounded off with a glass of rather strong vietnamese iced coffee. We couldn’t fit in dessert but if we could, we would have gone with the Azzuro peach ice creams which are always a treat.
So, the verdict. Lido is possibly the best Vietnamese in town. Sure, Lido does cater more for local tastes – the sizzling plate dishes are really popular! Yet they also provide traditional vietnamese dishes in a fresh and tasty manner. Most impressively, the kitchen manages to pump out the whole menu to high standards – that’s amazing. Every dish coming out the kitchen was well presented, looked vibrant and smelled fabulous. Plus the restaurant is clean, pleasant and comes with real plants. It’s also got everything Viet Hoa offers – tasty food, huge range and it’s on a street corner. We can’t ask more from a restaurant in Northbridge.
Up’s: Great food and an even greater range on the menu. The pho is decent. Service is friendly, efficient. Decor is tasteful and modern.
Down’s: The prices are a little bit more expensive than usual, but it’s certainly not steep. For two of us (1 starter, 2 mains, 2 drinks) was $40, so it’s a cheap eat.
Lido, 416 William St, Northbridge WA 6003
T: (08) 9227 5545
Lunch 7 days 11 – 3
Dinner 7 days 5 – 10
p.s. We went for dinner and OH MY GOD you have to try the shaking beef! It’s cubes of veal wok fried until caramelized in a savoury but sweet dressing, so good.
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