Tan Nhu Y Restaurant
A number of reasons take me to Tan Nhu Y on Hanson Road. Being close to my place of work makes it convenient and the number of recommendations generally for the vietnamese food available here piqued my curiosity to try some of food on offer in this part of Adelaide’s ‘little vietnam’. Tan Nhu Y is a family owned and run restaurant, made immediate and obvious on your first visit by the warm welcome you receive upon entering the place. Whilst it has been running for some time now, I am informed it underwent renovation relatively recently and it presents nicely. Marketed as selling both chinese and vietnamese cuisine, it is for the vietnamese that I have gone here, on quite a regular basis now for the last few months.
There are two dishes here that have me returning. When asking the owner what was popular and traditionally vietnamese, I was pointed obviously to the pho but another dish took my interest which was the Jellyfish and Roast Duck Salad. I had never tried Jellyfish before and until I tried it here, never thought it would be anything I would ever eat more than once and even then only for a dare. This dish, at Tan Nhu Y, has had me not just eating it on a regular basis but singing the praises of Jellyfish to anyone who will listen. Served here, Jellyfish is kind of crunchy and not exceptionally fishy and served with chinese style roast duck with a predominantly carrot and bean sprout salad with the ubiquitous vietnamese Nuoc Cham sauce gives an overall flavour that identifies itself immediately with the themes evident is South East Asian cuisine. It has the perfect balance of sweet, salty and sour. It is powerful and pungent yet you can taste each individual component. Go for the option with extra seafood and you have salad at its best and the way it truly should be. If you have ever said, ‘salad is sooo boring’ and you live in Adelaide, go here, order this and find out why salad can rock your world.
Jellyfish and Roast Duck Salad
The other thing is Pho. Recently, I’ve had a thing for Pho. If any of you follow me on twitter, you might have picked up my need for Pho on a regular basis, usually a Friday for lunch. I love pho. In fact I think pho is a dish that is appealing on so many levels for so many reasons. Firstly is its flavour. Pho is rather humbly known as a beef soup. But good pho is heaven on earth. Clean but punchy, understated yet outrageous. If you havent tried it, think beef stock, revved up with five spice and if you want, chilli. For me, it is always best when it has lots of chilli which I appreciate in this case not just for the heat but also for its complementary flavour in relation to the soup. The second reason I like it is its nose to tail approach with regards to beef. Whilst you can if you want have pho merely with some thinly sliced round steak, usually put raw into the soup so that it cooks with the stock, a good vietnamese restaurant will (like the chilli or no chilli option) give you a choice of beef which as already stated can include thinly sliced round steak but also brisket which with a little bit of fat, adds body and slightly different flavour to the lean round steak. You can also have beef balls or tripe. Some people have issues with tripe and I have to admit that I certainly used to but a small vietnamese restaurant in Virginia some years ago introduced me both to Pho and to tripe and it is something that I generally associate with good pho. I dont always have the tripe option, but still have it on a relatively regular basis. It provides a lovely textural contrast to the beef, noodles and veg also present in the perfect pho. This dishes utilisation of ‘everything but the moo’ is an appealing reason to regard pho in the highest manner because it cuts into the ethical use of animals and the moral obligations outlined by chefs such as Fergus Henderson to fully utilise the animal if you choose to eat it and also tastes truly sublime.
So, the pho at Tan Nu Y, is wonderful. On this occasion, I opted for the rare beef and roast brisket option. The dish, like at so many places arrives with a separate plate of bean sprouts, basil and coriander, lemon and chilli. You choose how hot you like it and I like it HOT!
Pho Bo with rare beef and roast brisket
Tan Nhu Y restaurant on Hanson road is a wonderful find. As I have indicated, these two dishes are lovely but the overall presentation of the place is welcoming not only in terms of service but also in terms of the approach to food. You can go as easy or as hard as you like with dishes for the faint of heart but also if you like to live on the wild side a bit, go for the Jellyfish or the tripe action with your pho. You never know, you might just love it!
Tan Nhu Y Chinese and Vietnamese Restaurant
201 Hanson Road
Athol Park 5012
PH: (08) 8268 8638