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Photographs: David Straight

Just off Queen Street, there are a handful of new restaurants on Mayoral Drive, tiny little spaces with a handful of tables. V-Fuels is the smallest: it’s mostly kitchen, with a couple of tiny tables and in this way it’s about as close as you might get to a market stall in Vietnam itself: there’s no such thing as a chair in a decent Vietnamese joint.

There’s a menu of home-style classics including a very decent pho, with a beautifully clear broth with a hint of spice, and just-rare beef flank in the way that it should be, though it could do with more herbs. There is bun – vermicelli noodles with beef, chicken or pork; there are some truly excellent fried spring rolls.

Pho aside, we’re most fond of their weekly specials. Around Thursday, the specials go up on Facebook, and these are the things you should make a beeline for. Recently we ate a vermicelli soup with pork knuckles, the broth simple and clear and porky, with falling-apart pork ribs – add a lump of chilli and you have a beautiful soup. Recently, there was vermicelli in crab meat broth: we hope it’s still on the menu. SFG

HOURS Open seven days, 9am to 9pm.

ADDRESS Shop 23, Corner Mayoral Drive and Airedale Street, ph 377-9655. See the Facebook page for weekly specials.

IMPORTANT DETAILS If you order the banh mi – which has beautifully succulent roast pork in it – get them to leave out the mayo.


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