Sam Woo Vietnamese Cafe
This is not the café to go to for atmosphere, unless you are into cavernous, bus terminal-like spaces. This IS the café to go to if you are into good Vietnamese and Asian food. Located near the Courthouse in Otahuhu, it gets a brisk trade from all the workers and the visitors there, as well as from people who have been coming across town to Sam Woo’s for years.
Two of us shared a serving of Vietnamese spring rolls ($4) and grilled pork marinated in lemongrass ($14). There was not a scrap left when we were finished. The thin pieces of pork were full of flavours of lemongrass and garlic, served on a bed of shredded cabbage dressed with a light sauce similar to their popular dipping sauce. The three spring rolls were thin and very crisp, full of flavourful meat. Total cost, including tea, only $21.
On another occasion we tried the fresh rolls with shrimp and pork ($9), the crunchy spicy salty prawns ($16) and the grilled pork marinated in lemon grass ($14). The fresh rolls were a bit average but the rest was great.
The menu is a mix of Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, although I am not sure where “Spare Ribs Mayonaised” ($13.50) fits in. Appetisers range from fresh and fried spring rolls, to salads and ½ a salted, steamed chicken ($11) and ½ roast duck ($16). There are the traditional Vietnamese and noodle soups and congee and a large variety of seafood, pork, beef and chicken dishes. Vegetable dishes are a bit scarce. There are also daily blackboard specials.
You can try one of their tropical fruit smoothies ($3.50) or stick with hot tea. Go with a group and make a feast out of your visit.