Monday, March 19, 2012

Lido Vietnamese Restaurant - Northbridge

Lido restaurant is situated on 416 William Street in Northbridge.

Lido Restaurant Northbridge on Urbanspoon

The first thing I noticed about this restaurant was the flashing “Christmas lights” hanging around the front window…and this was something I then didn’t stop noticing all night.

Lido was packed full of people at 7.30pm on a Saturday night and at around 8pm, there was not a spare seat in the restaurant! We were promptly seated and handed menus and after being offered tap water, the waiter kindly apologised for the glasses being slightly warm due to them just being washed as “they were very busy and needed to reuse glasses”. How cute! I told him not to worry at all, and that it was fine.

I decided I had to try the Vegetarian Rice paper rolls for entrée ($8) (despite not being overly hungry, I was too curious to see what these would be like). We placed our order for the “Stir fried crocodile with vegetable in coconut cream curry” ($30), “Stir fried scallops with honey, chilli and garlic - on a hot plate” ($28.50), “Stir fried vegetables with lemongrass and chilli” ($12.50) and steamed rice.
The vege rice paper rolls came out almost instantly, giving me the impression of about 1000 pre-made rice paper rolls sitting out back in the kitchen just waiting to be ordered and brought out to tables.

Vegetarian Rice paper rolls ($8)

I dipped the rice paper roll into the sweet, nutty sauce and could taste the freshness of the rolls. I love the burst of fresh mint you get in each bite and the crisp lettuce. Although there were small pieces of tofu in each roll, I did not taste any (or many) bean shoots in which I am weirdly fond of or any other vegetables. They were quite plain tasting – even with the sauce. And it would have been nice to see some carrot or other vegetables in the rolls to give them some more flavour. Nonetheless, I munched them down happily.

As I was part way through my first roll (a minute or two after it arriving), I saw a waiter come out of the kitchen, look directly at me munching on my entrée with what looked like our curry entrée and rice… he turned back to the kitchen with a confused look on his face as I watched him talk to another waiter before bringing out the Crocodile Curry and rice yet again. He placed these down on the table as I was still eating my entrée and within minutes the rest of the dishes decided to pile in from the kitchen. I felt this was kind of rude as normally they clear your entrée plates before even thinking about bringing out the main. But a few more munches and I rushed down the last few bites so that there was room on our table for our three mains, drinks and rice.
The Crocodile Curry was a decent size and the coconut flavoured curry was sweet and tasty with a flavour and mild spices I couldn’t put my fingers on!  
The crocodile (which I haven’t tasted before) was like an over-cooked fish in texture – half way between chicken and fish, looking a little like squid. Now apparently, this is not how it is meant to taste – which leads me to believe it was slightly overcooked, giving it a rubbery texture.
Combined with the curry sauce, scattered veges and some rice, it was a very delicious taste.

Stir fried crocodile with vegetable in coconut cream curry ($30)

Stir fried crocodile with vegetable in coconut cream curry ($30)
The stir fried chilli, honey and garlic scallops came out next with the waiter placing a hot-plate down on our table before pouring the scallop mixture from a bowl onto the hot plate causing a huge steam facial and lots of sizzle!
The scallops were cooked to ultimate perfection – medium-rare with a caramelisation on the outside and soft inside. Cutting through, they fell apart beautifully and melted in my mouth! – There is nothing better than a perfectly cooked scallop!

Stir fried scallops with honey, chilli and garlic - on a hot plate” ($28.50)

There was lots of sauce on the plate, almost overpowering the dish as it was very sweet, thick and full of garlic. I didn’t taste much of a chilli kick, but then again, I find I have quite a tolerance for chilli. There was some stir fried capsicum and onion to accompany the scallops. For $28.50 there were about eight scallops on this dish…but then again we are in Perth....
The stir fried vegetables with lemongrass and chill had a flavour I didn’t really expect. When I’ve tried lemongrass and chilli dishes before, the sauce is very thin and has a sweet/sourness of the lemongrass and a chilli kick with the chilli…This dish was less sweet/sour and more of a sweet chilli stirfry sauce. It was however, very nice in flavour.

Stir fried vegetables with lemongrass and chilli ($12.50)

Shortly after we finished our meals, our empty plates were whisked away. At around 8.30pm after being there for an hour, there was a line of 12 people waiting for a seat. This line was pretty much there for our entire meal as we were eyed-down by those waiting to eat at Lido.
Lido is obviously very popular, with an entire restaurant full and a constant line of around 12 people from 7.30pm – this restaurant has an obvious following and fan-base.
Feeling a little guilty for sitting at our table and digesting our food – taking up the opportunity for others to eat – I wanted to wait for a good 5-10 minutes to see if we would be offered any dessert menu. I gave this thought up rather quickly as I was feeling too bad for those waiting.

Our meal came to just over $80 for an entrée and three mains + rice.

Each dish had a unique flavour and with a menu longer than the line out the front of the restaurant, we’ll definitely be back to try some of the other dishes!

Highs: Quick service, tasty food, perfectly cooked scallops
Lows: Mains coming during entrée, flashing lights on restaurant window.
Overall: 7/10
Will I return? Definitely. There’s so much more I want to try!

At all times, in the corner of my eyes was the slightly distracting disco Christmas lights going crazy on the restaurant window-front. This confuses me as to why these are necessary but I drew my attention back to the beautifully smelling food in front of me.

<a href=""><img alt="Lido Restaurant Northbridge on Urbanspoon" src="" style="border:none;width:200px;height:146px" /></a>

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