So after quite a wait for what would take over the previous location of Lung Kee at the Aberdeen Food Court, it turned out to be Wildleaf, a Vietnamese cuisine food court stall!
So there used to be another Vietnamese cuisine food court stall at Aberdeen where Yougo Chicken currently is, and I used to go there for their banh mi’s, but ever since they left, Aberdeen was missing that Vietnamese cuisine! Let’s see if Wildleaf is the missing piece, or potentially another short-lived food court stall at Aberdeen.
They appear to be Chinese owned, as the staff there were all speaking Cantonese to the customers.
I was there with my colleague, so we wanted to try as many of their items as possible to get a full review.
I had the Lemon Grass Chicken Rice $8.75 and added a Vietnamese Spring Roll $1.00.
So the chicken dish itself does not look like much to begin with. When you compare this with other restaurants’ Lemon Grass Chicken with rice, such as Thai Son, you will find that for the same price, or in this case more, you get significantly less chicken, and the overall amount of food was just visually less than what you would get elsewhere. This was a very bad first impression based on the visuals of the dish already. Another point on the visuals was that this chicken did not look like any of the lemon grass chicken I’ve had before. It almost looked like the chicken you could get from those Chinese food court stalls where you pick rice or noodle along with three to four meat or veggie options. The taste confirmed what my eyes told me, as this tasted very different than the usual lemon grass chicken, and not in a good way. It definitely tasted like the chicken you could buy in the premade hot meals from T&T. In fact the more I think about it, the more it seems this chicken was taken straight from those T&T premade hot meals! I’m not saying this tasted bad, but I’m saying if you ordered this expecting it to be lemon grass chicken, you are going to be disappointed. The chicken tasted good, just not what I was expecting from this order. The quantity of chicken was another downer as you could visually count five to six pieces of chicken there.
The side dishes comprised of this pickled cabbage, radish, and carrot salad, and what my colleague called shredded pork. This was the shredded radish looking thing on the side, which I did not really like, and you know I don’t like eating pickled salads, so both side dishes were a bust for me. I know Jess would have liked the pickled salad, but she wasn’t here to eat it, so too bad!
Now onto the spring roll. $1 gets you one piece of this spring roll, which was again not like the usual spring rolls you would expect from a Vietnamese restaurant. This one had an unusual amount of mushrooms and vermicelli in it, which again gave it more of a Chinese flavour to it than the usual spring rolls I eat from Vietnamese restaurants. It was an ok spring roll, but nothing great.
I had a cold lemon tea $1.00 to drink, which was exactly like what you would get from any of the other Chinese food court stalls at this food court.
Onto my colleague’s food! He had the Special Soup Noodle (house special pho) or as their menu board calls it, Combination Mix: All Kinds of Beef with Rice Noodle in Soup $7.95.
Now house special pho’s usually come with rare beef, but as you can see, all of the meat here looks pretty well done already. My colleague pointed out that the soup had a peculiar smell to it, a certain “stink” as he would put it. His thoughts were that the soup isn’t the best, the beef is pretty well done, and if you want pho in a food court, this is not a bad option, but of course he would rather go to an actual pho place. It’s a decent sub $10 meal, but you definitely do not get as much meat here as you would at a typical pho restaurant. Kind of reminds you of what happened with the lemon grass chicken eh? He said only the noodles and meatballs reminded him of pho, nothing else.
Of course they provide you with the typical pho condiments at their stall:
Now onto the banh mi! I had the Assorted Vietnamese Cold Cuts Ham Baguette $4.50.
The size of this was similar to a typical banh mi. The ingredients used seemed similar, and the layout of it was good, as they wrapped the veggies inside the meat. There could have been more meat here, but it was ok for the sandwich. The bun was toasted well to give it a nice crunch, and the flavour of the banh mi itself was not bad. This was the best item out of our entire order, and although I can’t say this was a great banh mi, it passes for something I would order again next time I’m there, but the same can’t be said for the pho and lemon grass chicken with rice.
Overall this was somewhat of a disappointing dining experience. Both the pho and lemon grass chicken had too much of a Chinese influence in them that it took away from the Vietnamese aspect of their food. The food itself is not bad if they didn’t try and call it Vietnamese cuisine, but since they did, I just cannot consider their lemon grass chicken to be anything close to what Vietnamese restaurants are making, and the same can be said about their pho as well. If anything, this would only be a good place to grab a banh mi for a quick bite at the food court when you don’t want to get a full meal. Otherwise you’re better off going elsewhere if you’re craving for Viet food at Aberdeen.
Thanks for reading everyone! Let me know if you agree or disagree with my review if you’ve tried their food in the comments below. Munch on!