The inner north hasn’t been a popular location for inexpensive new-wave Asian street food restaurants, like Miss Chu in the CBD and Hanoi Hannah in Prahran, until now (Masak Masak being the only notable opening).
The opening this week of Xeom on the Collingwood side of Smith St is most interesting (I don’t count places like Easy Tiger, Lee Ho Fook and Northern Light in this list as they operate at a different price bracket). Another Vietnamese street food restaurant called Phamily Kitchen is soon to open on the same side of Smith St north of Johnston St.
My prawn and pork coleslaw ($14.50) was fresh and delicious with just the right balance of flavours. Water comes served in tall green repurposed Choya umeshu bottles and cute panda cups. The welcome from the staff was very friendly.
I think Pabu next door is going to experience a challenge for customers, especially in the daytime, as their limited lunch menu and dark interior lacks appeal compared to the brightness and freshness of Xeom.