89 Percival St
Ph : +852 2576 2240
Open : 7 days 11am-11pm
There are those restaurants that you walk past, over a period of years, and eventually curiosity takes the better of you and you walk in, wondering what it is that has enabled it to endure in an area replete with eating places.
You go in, you eat, and you decide that perhaps next time, when in the area, you will visit another establishment.
Perfume River is one of those places.
This is an informal restaurant of many years standing, and I am doubtful that the interior has been updated during that period. Situated over two floors, they were sufficiently busy on this evening that the ground floor was full, and the upper floor occupied by about half a dozen tables.
The menu is extensive, and bears little resemblance to most Sydney Vietnamese restaurants, appearing to be some locally influenced.
Vietnamese pork on rice crackers (HKD35. AUD1 = 7.5HKD)
This photo is somewhat deceptive in the sense that it doesn't properly show how large the crackers were. These were a simple mix of minced pork, garlic, shallots and the like, but surprisingly filling. A bit on the oily side, but this turned out to be a recurring theme.
Beef satay hot pot (HKD58)
Another huge serving, too large to finish, this was a very soupy mixture of thinly sliced beef, Chinese cabbage and peanuts in a mild satay tasting broth. Arguably a meal unto itself, and not quite what I had been expecting - that is, a somewhat drier dish.
Soft shell crab (HKD55)
Of the three dishes, this was probably the most successful, but again, the issue of a lingering taste of oil was present, and the batter in which the crab was encased was a tad on the thick side. This is definitely the sort of dish that someone craving fish and chips would like, as it satisfies that need for deep fried food that happens to even the best of us on occasion. I enjoyed it for what it was, though as a lover of soft shell crab, I tend to prefer it cooked somewhat more delicately.
Perfume River is cheap, and it's filling. It has survived the Causeway Bay dining crowd for a long time, no doubt for these reasons.