One lady at work said that she went to a really good Vietnamese restaurant in Kingsgrove. In Kingsgrove I asked? A very random location given that there aren't many around that area of Sydney, with the exception of Marrickville. I love Vietnamese cuisine and even though my mum cooks it really well, I do enjoy eating it at restaurants as there is much more variety.
One Clementine is a Vietnamese restaurant located within a complex of new apartment blocks in Kingsgrove, on the first floor together with other stores. It's airy, modern and very spacious. Upon entry, we could smell the different aromas released from the cooking and it smelt amazing. We went during lunch hour on Sunday and it wasn't very busy, but I've read that it is much busier at night, sometimes with queues.
One Clementine serves authentic Vietnamese food but they have also ventured out with modern Vietnamese inspired dishes. They specialise in beef noodle soup, boiling beef bones for many hours to achieve the complex broth. They also have assorted baguettes and rice paper rolls. For those craving dumplings, selected dumplings are handmade on site, though it appears the prawn dumplings are not after confirming with the waitress. The prices are a bit higher than Bankstown or Cabramatta, but there isn't much competition around the area.
We start off with a 'Vietnamese Iced Black Coffee ($3.00)' which looks like how it is served in Vietnam, drip coffee over ice. Unfortunately, the coffee lacked the punch and hit that I'm used to. The taste of the coffee was faint and diluted by the excess water used to filter the grind coffee. I noticed that there was very minimal coffee put into that filter which may have deterred the overall taste. Won't be ordering this next time around.
The 'Pork and Chive Dumplings ($8.00)' are made fresh in-house. Even though it's not a typical Vietnamese dish, this extra addition to the menu is welcoming. The dumplings are filled with juicy meat and chives which may not be suited to those with sensitive noses, as these vegetables let off a pungent smell. A nice entrée with the sweet soya sauce on the side.
In a steaming bowl, the much awaited 'Pho Tai and Bo Vien ($14.00)' arrived at our table. It is essentially medium rare beef and beef meatballs in a beef broth. I asked for the beef to be fully cooked as I don't like eating rare meat. The beef tasted fresh and we could tell they didn't use the cheap cuts. The noodles were silky smooth to the palate.
I very much enjoyed the piping hot broth that had an amazing depth of flavour and the perfect balance, in terms of not being overly sweet nor too salty. It was just delicious and made me sweat buckets. However, they were missing one essential garnish, onions, which are found in most beef noodle soups I've had, as it gives it that extra sweetness.
The 'Pho Tai ($12.00)' is a medium-rare beef noodle soup. Cooked perfectly and like the one above, very tasty.
Fresh herbs and condiments to go with the Pho.
A great place that serves modern Vietnamese food at decent prices. Service is friendly and food comes out reasonably quick. The beef noodle soup is definitely worth having. We do miss the complimentary Chinese tea that we get at the traditional Vietnamese restaurants. Nevertheless, we will be returning to try other dishes in the near future. Thanks for the recommendation N!
Shop 1, The Pottery,
11 Mashman Ave,
Kingsgrove NSW 2208
Phone no: (02) 8060 7122
Monday - Sunday
Lunch 11:00am - 4:00pm
Dinner: 5:00pm - 9:00pm