What happens when a shared love of hip hop and Vietnamese fare inspires four young homies to open a restaurant? Well the result looks a lot like Queen Street's just-launched Homi Noodle Bar, a bold new venture from friends Thomas Ho (Richmond's Tho Tho), Brian Taing (Workshop Brothers), Jason Ngo and Hung Huynh.
Having each grown up eating real, honest Vietnamese cuisine, the quartet were keen to show Melburnians a taste of Vietnam beyond the basic pho and rice paper rolls. And so was born the team's neon-clad, street art-heavy, hip hop-pumping noodle bar, Homi. Here, the menu nods to traditional flavours from both northern and southern Vietnam, tossed through with a few modern, Melbourne influences.
That means treats like cornflake-coated prawn patty buns, chicken mien noodles and an amped-up beef trio pho, alongside the boys' riff on that Hanoi cult classic, bun cha. See also, a very sexy serve of potato gems, here laced with sesame mayo, tobiko and 'crack salt'. Things get even funkier come dinnertime, with dishes like coffee caramel beef ribs and a spicy steak tartare livening up a pre-noodle nibbles selection.
While Homi is already trading, help welcome the restaurant to the neighbourhood by celebrating its official launch next Monday, September 18. The store will be handing out 50 free brioche rolls and 50 free noodle bowls between 11am-2pm. Now that's a lunch break situation to get excited about.
Find Homi Noodle Bar at 2/190 Queen St, Melbourne, Monday to Saturday, or visit the eatery's website for further details.