Perfume River Vietnamese Restaurant
G/F, 89 Percival Street
Tel: 2576 2240
Grub: Traditional, authentic, homely Vietnamese cuisine.
Vibe: Very plain interior with worn tables and neon lighting. However, this bustling energy of this popular joint makes up for a lacklustre setting, as does excellent cooking and attentive service.
Who to bring: The non-descript setting, and potential for getting bright orange hotpot sauce on your white shirt, mean Perfume River isn't ideal for a first date, but you'll definitely get brownie points from bae, or a big group of friends and family, for finding somewhere like this in Causeway Bay.
What's hot: The speed of service makes this a great lunchtime spot. The menu is so big, it's worth ordering a series of small plates to be able to try a little of everything.
The four vegetable rice rolls make a great starter, and are fresh and crunchy with a summery hint of mint. The chicken wings - though a little overdone - were flavoursome and garlicky, and the prawn crackers were generous, crisp and very tasty.
The vegetable vermicelli hotpot is so large it makes for a great main course to share, and is packed with wholesome greens and Vietnamese spices.
What's not: The hotpot sauce is very watery, so if you haven't grown up using chopsticks you might want to wrap yourself in napkins before you dig in. The garlic on the French bread could have been more generous, too - if you're not on a date, you won't be worried about stinky breath anyway!
With such a large menu, vegetarians could be better catered for, and there seemed to be many items that weren't available.
Cost: Rice rolls and vermicelli bowls are HK$50-HK$60, salads and curries are HK$70-HK$110, sides range from HK$15 to HK$70, and drinks are HK$35-HK$42.