Each of Saigon’s 24 unique districts hold a special story of their own. The iconic District 4 is the smallest urban region, yet the richest in culture, food and community. It is a hub of markets, street food and seafood. The owners fell in love with the district and channels the kindness of the people, a focus on seafood and simple yet flavoursome ingredients in Rundle Street’s latest offering.
District 4 officially opened its doors on February 1, its prime location impressing the fringe crowds with dishes including “Roll Your Own” cold rolls with a selection of crispy roast pork, chargrilled squid, fragrant herbs, pickled veggies, Vietnamese soup and fresh house-made dipping sauce. The menu also offers a range of pho and noodles and of course an Adelaide favourite Bahn Mi served every day from 10am to 3pm.
The official launch was this week and we were delighted to attend and sample a few of the dishes. What else would you expect from a Vietnamese cocktail party but plates loaded with spring rolls? These vermicelli, prawn and taro rolls were beautifully golden and crisp. The inside was fluffy and had a subtle flavour of prawn.
I particularly liked the Chargirilled scallops with special Vietnamese Scallion Oil. The oil had a seductive dark, sweet note that melded into the mild, sweet onions. Plump scallops needed a little loosening from its display shell but are delicious to eat with a scattering of chopped peanuts.
One of the most original delights were the Shrimp Cupcakes, a fried rice noodle base containing pork mince and sliced spring onions topped by a succulent prawn. They are served with a fresh salad of capsicum, cucumber and carrot to add on top as you like.
And finally a Vietnamese feast could not be complete without Pho. The broth is fragrant and herbaceous with delicate beef flavours. I happily slurped up the noodles and rare beef that were accented with a citrus, onion and hoi sin sauce.
You’ll find District 4 on the corner of Frome and Rundle St. It is open daily for lunch from 11am-3pm and dinner 6pm-10pm.
Words by Kate Wilkinson
WHERE: 225 Rundle St, Adelaide