Wrap and Roll
Ion Orchard near Orchard MRT
I always have the misperception that Vietnamese food is bland, boring and when given a choice I would choose Thai over Vietnamese anytime! But after yesterday’s educational session with Jascintha, I realised that I was totally wrong and Viet food does have her own character and could potentially be as addictive as Thai food. Would like to first thank Jascintha for the really heavy and delicious meal at Wrap and Roll.
Succinctly, Wrap & Roll has three outlets in Singapore currently, namely at Star Vista, Ion Orchard and Kent Ridge while the 4th outlet at Changi City Point will be due to open in Jan 2015. So Easties, you will not be left out. Wrap & roll originated from Vietnam and was awarded the top 100 Vietnamese Restaurant 2012 in Vietnam by Delicious Magazine and Best Vietnamese restaurant chain 2010 by Vietnam Tourism Board. With such compelling accolades, it is no wonder that I was thrilled by almost all of the dishes that I tasted there yesterday. It is really heartwarming to know that Wrap & Roll puts in a lot of effort when crafting their menu, so that they do not leave out any signature cuisines from Ho Chin Minh, Huey and Hanoi. That essentially covers the whole strip of Vietnam.
Alright, I tried one of the newer drinks on the menu and got the freshly ground pomelo juice for $4.90. It tasted really refreshing, slightly sweet, acidic and citrusy. It makes me wonder how many pomelo pulps would they need to grind to produce a rich glass like this!
To kick off the meal, we got the Lotus Shoot Salad for $8.90. Forget about the seemingly safer mango salad on the menu and dive straight into this lotus shoot salad as I am sure you will definitely not regret it. Really fresh, crunchy and slightly springy shoots would ignite your palates and when eaten together with the keropok, this dish was impeccable. It has a slight chinese rojak after taste as fish sauce is used and I like that.
Minced Pork & Mushrooms Steamed Rice Crepe Rolls. $8.90. Sounds like Char Siew Cheong fen? This is an even meatier rendition topped with fragrant, crispy shallots and pork floss. Rice wrap was thin and slithery while there is a substantial amount of fillings in it and its taste is completed with the fish sauce. On top of its fragrance, the mushroom bits in it also add an additional chewy texture to this dish. Delicious!
Grilled Pork in Steamed Rice Paper Rolls. $6.90. The tender fat piece of pork is wrapped together with basil and mint and that helps to make it into a lighter refreshing yet savoury roll. Love the charred aroma from the pork and there indeed is a very good balance of tastes over here. Very addictive indeed.
The Roll It Yourself Dish consists of delectable stir fried bean sprouts, mung beans, prawns and mushroom. The yellow pancake like thing isn’t an omelette as it’s too crispy to be one; instead it is an interesting mix of rice flour and tumeric powder. You could wrap them all up with the slightly pungent mustard leaf and topped it up with the refreshing basil and mint leaves to bring out the freshness of the fillings. $15.90. Very delicious ‘wrap’ over here indeed!
And yes, after all the wraps, we had some noodle action. Pho Beef Noodle Soup for $12.90. If you want to make it more savoury and slightly spicy, then add in the soy bean and sriracha sauce served by the side. Noodles were slightly Q and large, tender beef slices were served together with it while the soup is painstakingly boiled with herbs such as cinnamon and star anise. Very good bowl of beef Pho over here.
Rice Vermicelli with Grilled Pork & Deep Fried Spring Rolls for $11.90. Noodles served here were the mee kia kind of noodles and totally different from that of pho. The tightly wrapped spring rolls consist of Minced pork with mushrooms and fungus which kept bursting with flavours on every bite and the caramelised pork treasure hidden beneath makes this dish even more filling and flavourful. A disclaimer though – we were given more spring rolls as there were four of us devouring it!
Coming from the Hanoi Region that shares its long border with China, this stir fried seafood noodles indeed has quite a lot of oriental elements. Nevertheless, it was a very fragrant plate of what we like to call it “hor fun” as it has the addictive wok hei in it and seafood was definitely fresh and delicious.
And yes, that was the grand tour of our Vietnamese night at Wrap & Roll. After trying their signature rolls, noodles and salad, I realised that Vietnamese really love to balance their otherwise heavy tasting mains or meat with the more refreshing leaves while their clever use of interesting sauces complements and enhances the overall taste of every dish. Wrap & Roll has indeed taught me that light tasting dishes can still be marvellous and lip smacking and I really have to thank Jascintha once again for the invitation! So, if you are still having any queries about Vietnamese food like me, try this and you most probably would change your mind!