We ended up eating dinner here by pure chance. I’d noticed the cute takeaway wall on Danks Street a week earlier and returned to inspect further. Okay, let’s be honest here, it was to have a snoop and the urge to resist was won over by our rumbling tummies.
The banh xeo tom thit [Vietnamese pancake with prawn and pork] arrived first, and was as pretty as a picture. The bo sa cuon [lemongrass beef rice paper rolls] quickly followed suit and lastly the goi du du kho bo [green papaya salad with dried beef].
We toggled between dishes, breaking conversation by making inappropriate noises out of pure delight. Especially that papaya salad, what a knockout!
My friend suggested dessert. I screwed my face up however my mouth said, “yes”. And what a huge mistake it would have been to skip the bo bia ngot. Where on earth has this been all my life? This is special.
I tried to save some for my flatmate and I’m not sorry to say that I quickly gobbled the last morsel as though he was there and had averted his eyes quickly. The dessert made me do it. These little rice paper parcels hold in-house made honeycomb, shredded coconut and are sprinkled with black sesame seeds and dipped in a coconut sauce. Yummy.
The second dessert was the donut enveloping housemade banana icecream with peanuts and coconut. The mouth mumbled, “stop it” while the flavours danced over my tastebuds.
We chatted with Kim, the owner, who created so.9 as an homage to her father. She’s first generation Vietnamese and arrived here in the late 70s. She’s warm as well as passionate and we felt humbled that she would share her story with us.
Eventually we left. All with satiated, slightly swelling tummies full of goodness. And when I got home I popped the groceries in the fridge that I had forgotten about in my backpack…. talk about distraction.
Shop 1, CASBA
18 Danks Street
Waterloo, NSW, 2017