Restaurants

A Date with Hannah or Sally?

By Emma Forster - 08 Jul 2013

It's a tough choice, tossing up between two of the hottest, most authentic babes Southside has to offer. But at the end of the day, it really comes down to your own personal taste preferences - do you prefer the flavours of Saigon, or Hanoi? 'Cos while Hannah and Sally are both Vietnamese broads, they're very different in character. We're here to help you weigh up the pros and cons of these two luscious ladies before you make a commitment. You might just find one will win your heart.

Meet Hannah

Vietnamese street-food kitchen, Hanoi Hannah, moved from her previous residency north of the Yarra River to High Street, Prahran, just over a year ago. Making an instant impression, she now stands strong as a popular local establishment adored and frequented by many.

Three local hospitality gurus, Simon Blacher and Paul Nguyen of The Saint in St Kilda and Nick Coulter of Sarti, are behind this super popular Vietnamese eatery, and she is more than just a pho-nomenon. Among other things, punters can get their scrumptious fix of 'Sex, drugs and Ricepaper rolls'  (as the stencilled tag line on the facade blatantly states) from this authentic beauty.

Providing an array of sumptuous offerings, Hanoi Hannah boasts edibles from the likes of bahn-mi (Viet-baguettes) and pork belly sliders, to hand crafted rice paper rolls and heart warming pho. Hannah will not only seduce you with these tantalising dishes (eat in or take-away), but she'll bewitch you with a unique drinks list (we're swooning over the lychee and lemongrass caprioskas). But you needn't let the lovely lady woo you with alcoholic beverages; an equally exotic green apple and mint slushie will have you drooling for more. Far be it from us to call her cheap, but price is no question here, with $13 being the most you will spend on the take-away menu.

A culinary concept with many talents, she even comes with an exclusive take-away order mobile app so you don't have to join the queue frequently seen extending down High St. Oh, and did we mention she does catering for events as well?

Cheap (sorry, affordable!) and damn fine delicious.

Introducing Sally

Several months later, sister Saigon Sally opened her doors little more than a block away from Hannah, branching into the Windsor vicinity at Number 2 Duke Street. She is the new babe on the block and does well to give Hannah a run for her money. Nothing like a little sibling rivalry!

Sally caters to the guy or gal with slightly more expensive taste, but every cent is justified. The small, medium and large options cater for all shapes and sizes, so bring your pals and share the love because there is a serious banquet to be had.

The prawn pandanus with kaffir lime, tamarind and sesame caramel would make a fine start, and if you're carnivorously-inclined, might we suggest the stuffed quail or wild boar frisbee. Don't forget your veggies – perhaps the stir-fried kohlrabi, with bitter melon, wood ear mushrooms and choko (pear squash), or the silken tofu. Throw in some tossed morning glory (water spinach), and the fresh papaya salad and you're set to be sat-is-fied.

If, as the menu so aptly puts it, 'All you wanna do is ride around Sally (ride, Sally, ride...)', you can opt for the $59 per person banquet. You'll get to explore those flavours of Vietnam perhaps a bit more out of your usual comfort zone, including the saigon chili crabs, or the canh chua - crispy Barramundi with tamarind, okra and pineapple.

Sally may tempt your sweet tooth with the Tira-Me-Sally, the Mekong mud cake, or the Banh Bo (Steamed Coconut Pudding), and woo your whistle with the decadent drinks list.

The Sally experience is more about settling in, digesting the extensive menu, then admiring the wall art, rather than the quick dash in and out, street-side-market style of Hannah. And while you can spend time with Hannah 7 days a week, you can only have Sally Wednesday through to Sunday.

Sally may indeed be more diverse and extravagant in the menu and venue department, but the simplicity of Hannah will not let you down. These saucy sisters are certainly both on par for flavour and satisfaction. Why not try both to see which one whisks you off your feet?

Either way, it's going to be a matter of two timing or double dating to experience the unique qualities they both have to offer. It may be an open relationship, but this one's mutually beneficial.

Image Credit: Pinterest

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