First House Vietnamese Cuisine, Spence St *CLOSED DOWN*
For a place that was not long ago seemingly barren of Vietnamese restaurants to dine at Cairns is now teeming with them! To name just a few that I have come across in the last week or so… Lan’s Vietnamese Restaurant (don’t rate it but that’s an entirely different post), Pho Viet in Orchid Plaza (yet to try but will keep you posted) and then there is First House Vietnamese Cuisine on Spence St. First House has taken over from what once was the Hare Krishna restaurant Gaura Nitai’s. It’s a simple yet quaint little restaurant across from newly refurbished The Jack (formerly Shennanigans). I first dined at this little gem with my family nearly a year ago and found it to be well worth the visit. At the time it had only been open for just over a week and we were the only people dining there but we gave it a go and were pleasantly surprised. First House owner Vincent is the previous manager of Cafe China (or was it Golden Boat) but has since moved on to the greener pastures or shall we say the steaming pho’s of First House Vietnamese Cuisine. Recently MS and I were looking for somewhere to dine for a late lunch in the city and popped into First House for a look. There was only two other occupied tables but it was after 2.30pm. The owner is super friendly and even remembered me from when I dined there with my family. I am pretty memorable I must admit (that’s a joke – or is it?). First House is run by Vincent and his equally pleasant son who’s name escapes me at present. MS ordered the Vietnam Style Hai Nan Chicken Rice (AU$15.80) while I stuck with what I always order when I dine at a Vietnamese Restaurant – the Pho (AU$12.80). It didn’t take long for our meals to arrive and they were delicious. MS’s Chicken Rice was a good lunch size and the chicken was succulent and tender. There are condiments on each table in the restaurant including XO Sauce and Hoi Sin. Having recently discovered Hoi Sin sauce MS happily ate his chicken and rice with a little drizzled over the top while stealing mouthfuls of Pho from my side of the table.
Now to my Pho… It was superb. A nice big bowl, they weren’t stingy! The beef stock was rich and flavoursome unlike the less than appertising Pho that I was served at a particular Cairns restaurant starting with ‘B’ and ending with ‘obby’s’. There was so much that I couldn’t finish the whole thing but MS helped me out and now it seems that he too has quite a penchant for Pho. The garnishings of bean sprouts and Thai Basil that arrived on a separate little plate for me to add myself were super fresh and fragrant. YUM!
The food at First House is fresh and authentic, the service is friendly and personable and although the place isn’t glamourous it just seems to work! Don’t let the tacky plastic table clothes and the flashing neon sign fool you as this all adds to the character of First House and the overall dining experience. There are lunch specials available between 12pm and 2.30pm 7 days a weeks (check out my ‘Lunch’ page). Pop in for a quiet lunch or dinner. You will be glad that you did. By the way did I mention that First House Vietnamese Cuisine is BYO? Oh yeah.
First House Vietnamese Cuisine
55 Spence St, Cairns QLD 4870
Ph: (07) 4051 5153
Opening Hours: Open 7 days 11am – 3pm and 5pm – 9pm including Public Holidays
Eat in or takeaway