Jimmy Wah’s, Burleigh Heads: This seaside dining gem dishes up authentic Vietnamese cuisine with modern-Australian influences in a fun-yet-refined setting. You’ll find everything from yellowfin-tuna sashimi through to soft-shell-crab banh mi, poached chicken rice-paper rolls, braised beef short-rib steam bao buns and must-try snapper and crab dumplings. To finish? A condensed milk-laden Vietnamese espresso martini, of course.
Can Tho Kitchen and Bar, Runaway Bay: From its eclectic digs on Oxley Drive, Can Tho Kitchen and Bar brings authentic home-style Vietnamese to the table. The share-style menu focuses on traditional flavours of Vietnam, starting with smaller plates like steamed chilli dim sims and sour seafood soup, before moving on to authentic beef pho noodle soup, delicious banh xeo (savoury pancakes) and punchy wok-fried classics like lemongrass chicken. You can end with the likes of taro ice-cream with crushed yam cookies or a deep-fried Gaytime bao.
My Saigon Tuckshop, Burleigh Waters: Don’t judge a book by its cover. This unassuming daytime eatery is often found brimming with local workers getting their fix of traditional Vietnamese fare like pho beef-noodle soup, vermicelli salads, rice paper rolls, spring rolls and grab-and-go banh mi baguettes. Don’t let the unassuming decor fool you – it’s as authentic as it gets.
Quan 55, Chirn Park: Nestled in the heart of Chirn Park, Quan 55 serves up a vibrant share-style menu inspired by authentic tastes and homestyle flavours with an edgy modern twist. Off the the grill you can enjoy delights like skewered beef and lemongrass wrapped in betel leaves, and grilled squid stuffed with pork mince, glass noodles and wood ear mushrooms. Up the ante with the larger plates – you’ll find everything from traditional pho to a whole chicken with chilli and lemongrass, and clay-pot prawns with a roe and shallot sauce.
Light Years, Byron Bay and Burleigh: Styled off 1950s Hanoi (think shades of pink, neon lights and plenty of greenery), Light Years encourages you to share its flavour-packed menu. The kingfish ceviche with coconut, chilli and kaffir lime is a good place to start, as is the shiitake, ginger and chestnut wontons. Up the ante with the five-spice roasted-duck pancakes, and definitely get your head in the fragrant 12-hour pho.
Eddy + Wolff, Robina: While not exclusively Vietnamese, Eddy + Wolff comes from the same owners of Can Tho Kitchen in Runaway Bay and offers a fun modern-Asian menu that is dotted with authentic Vietnamese dishes. Enjoy dishes like baby pho with charred bone marrow and drinks like the Pho-groni – a negroni infused with pho spices. Hello happiness.
Stellar Vietnamese Street Food, Southport: Located in the Australia Fair food court, this hidden gem delivers traditional Vietnamese street food driven by age-old family recipes. Everything from the sauces to the bone broth for the pho is made from scratch in house every day, forming the basis of a mouth-watering menu of street snacks like lemongrass chicken banh mi and rice-paper rolls, through to twice-cooked pork belly in coconut juice.
O-me-ly, Broadbeach: This longstanding hub is well known by locals for its authentic and fuss-free Vietnamese fair. Open for both lunch and dinner, O-me-ly dishes up everything from traditional noodle soups (the crispy chicken and egg soup is a delight) and pho, though to fresh green papaya salads, banh xeo pancakes and giant vermicelli bowls topped with fillings like sugar-cane prawn and lemongrass chicken.
Saigon 101, Mermaid Waters: If you’re after good Vietnamese minus the fuss, this casual hang will be right up your alley. You’ll find simple, affordable and traditional Vietnamese dishes served across lunch and dinner. Think noodle soups, vermicelli salads, rice bowls and fresh rice-paper rolls.
L’Viet Palais Restaurant, Mermaid Beach: The menu here represents generations of homestyle Vietnamese cooking. For lunch, think traditional pho noodle soups and vermicelli rice salads and for dinner, it’s all about sharing the love and ordering a bunch of dishes to fill the table for a true feast. The boneless roasted duck smothered in L’Viet special sauce is a crowd favourite as are the king prawns caramelised in fish sauce, spring onion and black pepper. Definitely finish with fried ice-cream.
Be sure to check out our round-up of the Gold Coast’s best banh mi.
Got a favourite Vietnamese spot you think we should know about? Email [email protected]