I am a bit of a fan of Luke Nguyen. He has a terrific presentation style, his dishes always look delicious and he is a perfect example of how immigrants and refugees can enrich Australia and should be welcomed. It is thanks to Luke Nguyen I knew how to ‘safely’ cross the road when I went to Vietnam.
Stepping away from my political opinions, Luke Nguyen opened a Fat Noodle restaurant in Brisbane in late 2012, a brother to Fat Noodle at Star Casino in Sydney. Being a fan, it is a little surprising it has taken me so long to visit. I think it’s the idea of eating in a casino that puts me off. Also, the restaurant’s ratings on Urbanspoon are rather dismal.
But last week, we had tickets to see The Lion King, so it seemed a good time to give it a try.
We were three for dinner. We met at 6:30pm and were showed to a table immediately. Fat Noodle has a more informal style with no set courses. Knowing that, we ordered three dishes to start with. We had prawn and pork rice paper rolls ($10), teriyaki salmon tataki ($13) – both small plates – and a warm salad of spicy pork ($17). The dishes came out within minutes and the service was good, no complaints at all. All three were tasty but my particular favourite was the tataki. The spicy pork had a flavoursome kick without being overwhelming and all of them went well with our glasses of white ($9 a glass)
Our second ‘course’ was braised vegetables in soy and ginger sauce ($16) and tempura battered barramundi ($20), which were the least-exciting and best dishes of the evening in our personal tastes. Again, the dishes were out very quickly, flavoursome and enjoyable. We almost didn’t need five plates between us, we could easily have had one less and all been satisfied.
No food photos I’m afraid. This was not the occasion to interrupt dinner to take snapshots.
Reading through other reviews on Urbanspoon, complaints seemed to be about slowness of service, price and quantity. I experienced problems with none of these, so I don’t know if these people were there for bad nights or just had unrealistic expectations.
The service was speedy and attentive, the food was good and well-priced for the quality. A meal costs $16-$20 at most local Vietnamese or Thai restaurants, so the menu at Fat Noodle was not a shock to the wallet. We all three of us enjoyed our dinner at Fat Noodle. It won’t be a favourite dining location in Brisbane, mostly because I rarely eat in the CBD, but I would not object to going again.