St Cloud Eating House - Launch Party @ Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Charlie & Co. were invited! 

Thursday 10th Dec. 

St Cloud Eating House is a modern Vietnamese bar and eatery in Hawthorn, a short walk from Auburn Station, on Burwood Rd. A small town road with nothing but pizza and kebabs, until the lively St Cloud came along, located opposite a car dealership. Expanding across two levels with a veranda perfect on summer evenings, it's features plenty of drinks as well as food.

The little bubble in the middle says delicious, a friend translated for us.

The Bar!

Drinks on Tap

House Wine 

There was house wines and soda water on arrival. Though Lola had a soda water with ginger and lemongrass which was refreshing not alcoholic, and fitted the theme well. As Vietnamese food uses a lot of lemongrass!  

Lola says "The lemongrass sparkling soda with a slice of lime is an excellent choice to pair with lunch or for those whom prefer the non-alcoholic drink. Refreshing, light and uplifting the dishes offered for St. Cloud."

The Kitchen

Rice Paper Rolls

Canapes floated around, upstairs and down. Upstairs there was another bar, smaller, and veranda, along with two white wicker hanging pods. At first canapes were served downstairs, then upstairs, though by the time we got up there, they had vanished. We ended up settling opposite the kitchen for the best pictures. As it was very crowded and everyone was so tall, it was a challenge to take pictures. Everyone is at least 8 inches taller than me!

Tofu Rice Paper Rolls & Pork + Crackling Baguette 

Rice wrap with sprouts, and a slice of Tofu (firm style) it's nothing without the sauce... but carries it's own flavor without it... it works! - Lola. 

It was kinda bland, needs sauce, might I suggest a hoisin x pb? As they were canapes it's difficult to have the dipping sauces float around. - Charlie 

A small baguette with fired pork crackling and roasted sliced pork, garnished with carrot, sliced radish, and another herb possible basil or mint and a possible teriyaki sweet sauce in the middle, mostly on the slice of roast pork. The baguette was a bit hard, but over all a delicious mix to a pork roll. This was a bit like two positive end magnets. It had pork crackling in a hard baguette roll.... delicious, a bit hard to bite into, and re-imagined with success, I don't mind ordering this for a lunch time or late lunch meal. - Lola

Meanwhile I didn't eat the pork but did have a nibble at the baguette, and it was wrong! It was soft and a bit chewy! Think hot dog bun but more chewy! No, no, no! That's not how it's suppose to be. It's meant to be crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on he inside, just like the bread rolls at asian bakeries in Springvale or Footscray. - Charlie

Beef with vermicelli, herbs and fish sauce

A tapas with lettuce leaf, roasted beef, mint, chilli on vermicelli rice noodles. The mint hints the chili and sets up the beef extraordinarily, it pairs well. I would recommend this for anyone whose palette is fond of the taste on fresh mint and meat. Also the vermicelli rice strengthens the bite and gives the mouth a worthy fullness. - Lola 

This is beef & vermicelli, normally served in a bowl with fresh herbs, chili and peanuts. Though today we're sampling it in a tapas boat. Mini forks would have been nice. This is one of my favourite Vietnamese dishes. - Charlie

Chicken Wings wrapped in Sticky Rice Served with Soy Sauce

I'm not a wings fan, though Lola's a fan of everything! This one was odd, chicken wings wrapped with rice, fried. Then dipped into the sauce before being served. Where's the marinade? I felt that should have been in the sticky rice, and the chicken should be marinated, otherwise it was plain, and the sauce doesn't absorb as well.

*It was crowded and dark, hence no picture of this one* 
Banh Kot - Savory Mini Pancakes

Another classic Vietnamese favourite of mine, these are mini pancakes made in a iron cast mold on the stove. Served with pickled carrot they're often found at festivals. Mini things are cute! So what's not to like, while they were flatter than the ones pictured, they contained spring onions, turmeric and prawns. Yum!

l We sampled everything and the beef boats were messy, fun and our favourites along with the savory mini pancakes. Normally I love banh kot but there was no dipping sauce. If I was running the event I'd have sauce trays on the tables and bag hooks at the bar tables.

By chance we passed by on Sunday night and the place was booked out! There were two sessions from what we recall. I'm not sure how I feel about Modern Vietnamese as I feel like it's been "Westernized" and the traditional flavours and textures aren't the same, but we're willing to give it a go! 

Have you been to St Cloud, or any other Modern Vietnamese restaurants?

St Cloud Eating House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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