I’ve probably been to most of the restaurants in Glen Waverley, but Bia Hoi Beerhall is one that I just walked past without much thought. Instead of just walking past, I decided to stop walking past it and dined at the restaurant. So, does Bia Hoi do great Vietnamese cuisine?
Bia Hoi’s claim is that it a community focused restaurant celebrating Vietnamese beer culture. The menu supports this theme with plenty of snacks such as baos, skewers, dumplings and fried chicken. Aside from the snacks, you can order noodle soup (such as pho, bun bo hue, etc), noodle salads and rice dishes. Of course, there is a decent amount of beers and other alcohol on offer too. Me, I am not much into alcohol so I didn’t give it a go, but it seems like alcohol is a go to item based on other patrons in the restaurant.
I noticed that on Saturday night that this restaurant was quite busy. Most of the tables were occupied and many of the patrons were happily ordering shared plates and snacks. On the menu are also soup pots like their Sweet and Sour Soup for AUD$55, which comes in a large pot and a good serving of rice noodles. This large soup seemed to satisfy a group of three people on the table next to us. Based on how satisfied they were, we are thinking of trying that next time.
We ordered their Tender Duck Leg Red Curry for $27, Grilled Pork Chop on Rice for $19 and Kids Meal and choice Pho, Fried Chicken and Ice Cream for $15.
The Duck Curry’s meat was very tender and was deep fried to ensure the meat’s skin was crispy. The curry was very soupy and had chili, tomatoes, basil and lychee. While the duck was excellent, the curry sauce had too much fish sauce for our liking. The fish sauce made the curry too salty. When you add the curry to the duck meat, the saltiness dissipates a little.
The Grilled Pork Chop on Rice for $19 was their version of Broken Rice, except it didn’t have broken rice. The plate had jasmine rice, pickled carrot and radish, cucumber, tomatoes, leaf salad, a slice of pork loaf, egg and two pieces of grilled pork. This came with a small sauce pot of sweet fish sauce to pour over the rice and meat. When compared to broken rice, I thought the grilled pork had a great fragrance, but I would have just preferred a broken rice at one of the many Springvale restaurants since the grilled pork is more tender and you get heaps of great condiments. As a dish, it was okay.
The Kids Meal is $15 and you can choose the entrée, main and dessert. We opted for fried chicken, pho with beef and ice cream. The fried chicken had a nice batter, but lacked flavor. The pho had nice slices of sirloin beef, but the soup was ordinary. I have a feeling that the soup for the Kids Menu Pho may be different to the adult version based my observation of other people’s bowls. The ice cream was just a scope of vanilla ice cream. Overall, it’s not a bad deal/combination for a child.
It is harsh to compare these dishes with the dishes I would frequently enjoy at Springvale, but if you want Vietnamese cuisine then you best go to Springvale. You will get a better deal in terms of price and deliciousness. Now, compared to other restaurants at Glen Waverley, the dishes are good because they sit at a decent price range and it offers something unique, e.g. beers and snacks. I feel the best judge of this restaurant would be to do beers and snacks and that’s not what I did, but others who did seemed to be enjoying themselves.
So does it do great Vietnamese cuisine? It does okay dishes but nothing amazing. It’s version of broken rice and pho leaves more to be desired but would probably be great with beer and company. Maybe it’s time to get on the beers. But the duck was excellent but let down by the salty curry sauce.
Bia Hoi Beerhall is located at The Glen Shopping Centre, 235 Springvale Road, Glen Waverley VIC 3150:
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