Ao Dai – Adelaide

City Cross in the Adelaide CBD is a surprisingly huge complex, offering its visitors with a number of services, including technology, clothing, and cosmetics (to name a few). Understandably, there are facilities to help shoppers refuel on energy through the various options of eateries and food joints that are situated for a greater portion of the ground floor.

Ao Dai is the latest addition that has found home here in City Cross. It may be small, but it is cute and perfect if you’re looking for a quick bite with a healthy touch. The food joint is adorned with soft, faux-wooden panels that are decorated with chalkboard paint, traditional rice hats, a bicycle, and the menu with items available for purchase.

Ao Dai specializes in delivering fresh Vietnamese street-style food, with a balance between sophisticated and casual through their decor. Their menu boasts of quite a selection – small bites such as cold rolls for under $4, Banh-Mi for under $8, and Bun Bowls with complimentary spring rolls for $10. For the more wholesome and hearty meals, you can enjoy a bowl of Laksa for $13 or less, rice pots for under $15, salad bowls for under $12, and  Pho for under $12.

As part of their launch on November 14, Ao Dai ran a special promotion, where customers were treated to a free Banh Mi of their choice (while stocks last). Customers were welcome to choose their ingredients and add / replace anything that may be available on the meal. Starting at 12pm, there was a massive line out the front of Ao Dai, and within an hour, all the free Banh Mis were sold out – rightly so!

We were lucky enough to snag some Banh-Mis among the craziness of the launch promotion and ordered the grilled chicken and roast pork selections.

The Grilled Chicken Banh Mi was served with chili, capsicum, onion, cucumber, mayonnaise and cilantro leaves. The chicken was cooked to present with a crispy outer layer encompassing tender meat within. The baguette that these ingredients were served in was toasted to deliver a fresh level of crispiness. The vegetables were fresh and had a subtle layer of dressing, which allowed for a subtle flavour from the mayonnaise, while still maintaining the freshness from the vegetables.


The Roast Pork Banh Mi was served with classic ingredients such as pickled carrot, cucumber, fresh chilli, red onion and coriander. The roast pork was well marinated and the skin was perfectly crunchy. The coriander was fresh and the cucumber and carrot added a nice crunchy texture. The fresh chilli wasn’t too hot but any signs of heat was balanced by the sweetness of the red onion. The bread roll was flaky on the outside, and light and fluffy in the centre, just the way it should be.

Ao Dai is now open for business at the City Cross food court from Monday-Friday

Words by Fatema Sitabkhan

WHERE: City Cross Arcade, 32 Grenfell St, Adelaide

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