Well, their name says it all: the 31-year-old stalwart of Fortitude Valley Asian dining was clearly one of the first of its kind in Brisbane and, in our honest opinion, The Vietnamese Restaurant certainly lives up to the definitive ring its name conjures.
While some of Brisbane's other renowned Vietnamese haunts may trump it in the colourful, sleek decor stakes, The Vietnamese Restaurant more than makes up for its humble fit-out with brilliantly flavoursome, moreish eats and excellent value.
Its salt-and-pepper squid ($17.50) is, this reviewer believes, the best in Brisbane. Crispy, salty and peppery (well, one would expect from its name, but even more so) explosions in every mouthful. Other gems include perennial chef's special the crispy duck with Asian greens and mushroom sauce ($20), the chilli and lemongrass chicken ($14.50) and the aptly named make-your-own "fun rolls" ($13), which serve as a potentially messy but nonetheless very enjoyable entree.
Continuously owned by the Le family since its inception in 1983, the BYO and licensed restaurant also has a 50-person upstairs function room for special events. Open seven days a week, The Vietnamese Restaurant acts as an ideal destination for a quiet midweek dinner, work lunch (the $13 entree-and-noodle soup "speedy lunch" is a great deal) or a pre-going-out Saturday-night group banquet. This is a true Brisbane classic you need to try if you haven't already.