It was our first day in back Melbourne and Juz wanted nothing more than a big bowl of pho. Even though we’re travelling around the country, she’s still interested in the Melbourne food scene, curious about which restaurants are on the top and whether there are any new places taking Melbourne foodies by storm.
A few months ago, Juz received an invitation to try out a new Vietnamese place in the CBD, and since we were in town, it was an offer she couldn’t refuse. So, for our first day in Melbourne, we found ourselves driving into the city during lunchtime to sample the offerings of Twee’s Hut Vietnamese Favourites. Now, maybe we’d been a bit spoilt in Darwin, because we had completely forgotten how frustrating and painful driving in the Melbourne CBD can be. Not to mention finding parking!
However, when we walked in to Twee’s Hut, all was forgotten with the sultry aromas of Vietnamese cooking. It was evident that the lunchtime rush was over and this gave us the perfect opportunity to introduce ourselves to Ricky.
Ricky and his wife Thuy used to be office workers, bound to their desks day in and day out. While they had thought about changing the scenery and opening up a Vietnamese restaurant, it wasn’t until a cancer scare opened their eyes and made them realise how short life is. After a lot of planning and hard work, Twee’s Hut was born in November 2013.
Their story really resonated with us – our situation was fairly similar before we decided to pack up all our belongings and travel around the country.
The philosophy behind Twee’s Hut Vietnamese Favourites is revealed in the name – to showcase the favourites of authentic Vietnamese home cooking and create a very warm and familiar atmosphere that’s just like home. Their passion for great food drives them to produce dishes of high standards, and Thuy won’t send anything out unless she’s happy with it.
On that note, it was time to order. While Juz was certain she’d have the beef pho, Dave was seduced by a piece of roast pork with crackling in the window. He ended up ordering some with rice for now and some in a Bánh Mi ‘Captain Baguette’ pork roll for later. We also got the signature dish – Soul Bowl – which is a combination noodle dish that consists of two kinds of noodles, pork, prawn, a little quail egg, crushed peanuts, fried shallots and coriander with a side of chicken broth.
Everything was amazing in its own way. The flavours and textures of the Soul Bowl were fantastic, especially when you scoop a spoonful of pork mince, peanuts and fried onion into your mouth for an explosion of flavour. Juz’s beef pho was clean and very well balanced, with the sliced raw onion amplifying the savoury flavour and the lime juice provided the perfect amount of tang to contrast the subtle sweetness. Dave’s roast pork was the star of the show with its mighty crunch of crackling. The meat was super juicy and not oversalted, so the flavour of the pork really stood out.
We had definitely eaten our fill and thanked Ricky for his warm hospitality before we headed back to the car with pork roll in hand. Later that night, after a catch up with friends at the pub, we got home and Dave found the roast pork roll in the fridge. The crackling still had its crunch and that unmistakably addictive flavour, and the roll disappeared in a flash.
We’re glad that we accepted Ricky’s invitation to visit Twee’s Hut. We really enjoyed their story because we could relate and it validated our reasons for setting off around Australia. Ricky was also a great host who warmly greeted customers and wished a regular all the best with their new baby. It was really heart-warming to see someone being so genuinely interested in his customers, but after all, Twee’s Hut has another purpose other than serving delicious food. They want to provide an experience that revolves around caring and sharing, and promotes happiness and health. They even donate a portion of their sales of Fru-G Lifters to the Cancer Council! If only we had room in our bellies for one of those…
So if you’re in the CBD and hungry for a delicious meal made with love, visit Twee’s Hut – you won’t be disappointed.