Southern Star Vietnamese Restaurant

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Unit 1/132 Terrace Road, Perth
Ph: (08) 9325 1868 or 0405 085 585
Vietnamese with a View

Stepping into a modern, light- filled, spacious restaurant was not what I was expecting when I parked outside the front door. The best feature of the Southern Star was the uninterrupted (apart from a few seagulls) view of the Swan River.
Owner Andy Bui was sent here from Haiphong, North Vietnam in 1998, to get a good college education, then study hospitality and bring all his expertise back home. His parents are in the tourism industry, and were surprised when Andy decided to stay in Perth.
While studying at the Australian School of Hotel Management, Andy took some part-time jobs in restaurants around Perth. He was soon hooked by the passion and creativity that local chefs had for their fare. He began to learn all he could and eventually opened his first restaurant in Northbridge, and later, one in Canningvale.
“I like homestyle cooking,” he said. He believes that the best dishes are cooked fresh every day with quality ingredients, just like his people do back home. Sauces and marinades are all freshly made.
The beef is Harvey Beef, the scallops are Tasmanian, the prawns from exmouth and the eggs from Armadale. The vegetables are sourced from local WA farms.
“If I don’t eat it, I don’t sell it.” he emphasised. He has experimented with Thai cooking and developed his own fusion of styles. Although Andy promotes authentic Vietnamese cuisine, he also has modern dishes on the menu.
Most of the wines are also local, such as from the Swan Valley and Margaret River, and he recommended some matches for our food.
We began with the Vietnamese grilled chicken salad, served like a volcano of fine cabbage, tossed with mint and coriander, pieces of tender chicken flesh and sprinkled with chopped peanuts. This was a very tasty dish with the crunch of cabbage and tang of herbs.
The Chicken Spare Ribs were my favourite, hot and spicy, served on a bed of lettuce. The five spices sauce made this dish unique along with the carefully cut ribs, luscious with flesh – in fact, not spare at all! The stir-fried vegetables were a welcome relief from the heat of the ribs.
We enjoyed the Salt and Pepper local tiger prawns in tempura batter. They were firm with a piquant flavor that did not override the taste of prawns. The fried onion, spring onions and chilli were an excellent accompaniment, giving crunch and a lovely bite.
The Shaking Beef certainly shook my partner: “It tastes smoky”. The tender veal pieces were mixed with a pile of fried vegetables, coated in peppery gravy. On the side was a dish of lime juice, salt and pepper for the individual’s taste. I was lucky I was allowed a mouthful, which I enjoyed.
Moist is how I would describe the Roast Duck and lychee in red curry sauce – sweet, juicy, delicious. The homemade sauce was creamy with the right amount of spice, and the quail eggs slipped down with the perfectly cooked duck.
If you want a quick lunch or to slowly unwind over dinner, with smashing views, and you like big serves, try Southern Star, (licensed) Monday to Friday for lunch and nightly for dinner. You can also book a function, meeting or party and have the menu tailor-made.
By Frances Myshell
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