Situated directly opposite Ponsonby Central on Ponsonby Road is Le Vietnamese Kitchen. You may have noticed its collection of fine wooden lamps hanging under its roof and its on-trend banana leaf wallpaper? Well, next time you're driving past, stop the car. This Southeast Asian restaurant was delicious. Light, flavoursome and full of fresh herbs and spices, we oh-ed and ah-ed our way through the menu, sharing melt in your mouth Coconut Prawns, followed by fresh Market Fish, Aubergine and Pork Stuffed Squid and summery Papaya Salad. For dessert, we tried the smooth Coconut Sago with Doris Plum and the rich Dark Chocolate Mousse. All delicious. And all swirled down with a glass of Roaring Meg Pinot Gris. Lovely!
As we finished ordering, we saw, not one, but two Flaming Coconuts (coconuts that are literally on fire) whisked past us and onto to the next table. Totally intrigued, and slightly jealous that we hadn't ordered our own, we promised each other that we will be back for Flaming Coconuts!
This place is definitely a good venue for a late afternoon, dusky dinner. Ask to be seated outside where you can enjoy the shimmering festoon lights, covetable tiled tables and cute wicker lanterns.
Tip: Accustom one's self to gender-specific Vietnamese house slippers. This will make your bathroom visit a much easier experience.
Le Vietnamese Kitchen, 107 Ponsonby Road, Ponsonby. (09) 376 6107.