Tan Viet Noodle House @ Eastwood, Dec 2015

Believe it or not, people flock to this small Vietnamese eatery not for their noodles, but for three words:

Crispy skin chicken.

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We went early for lunch, just before 12pm, and managed to grab the last available table.

We decided to order the norm of any Vietnamese noodle restaurant, pho with raw beef.

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It was a large bowl noodles, generous with beef and bean sprouts. Taste wise it was okay – the soup could have been meatier and didn’t have the depth of flavour of good beef broths.

The herbal duck with egg noodles was nice. The large piece of duck drumstick and thigh was tender and the skin meltingly soft. The soup was not overpoweringly herbal and the noodles were a nice firm texture. My only qualm with the dish, was that the duck could have been seasoned a little more.

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We also ordered two dishes that came with crispy skin chicken – the tomato rice and the dry egg noodles.

The tomato rice also came with pickled vegetables and a small bowl of chicken soup.

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So the disappointingly untomato-ey tomato rice was pretty much just rice the colour of tomato, but it was forgiven as just an accompaniment to the star of the dish, the crispy skin chicken.

The egg noodles were a nice surprise. It didn’t look very flavourful, but with the crunchy lettuce, fried garlic and very pleasant sesame and soy sauce, was quite delicious on its own.

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So did the crispy skin chicken live up to the hype? A very definite YES! Not only was the skin paper thin and crispy, it was crispy on the bottom as well, sandwiching the moist and juicy meat.

About halfway through our meal we noticed that a long queue had formed along the front of the restaurant. And it didn’t seem to have gotten any shorter as we were leaving. My advice – go early and more importantly, don’t neglect to order the crispy skin chicken.

 

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