Reuniting with the majority of Michael's 4U gang and lone individuals (looking at you Nat Dam and Helena) from other classes, we had a cute dinner at Madam Nhu where we merrily sipped away at pinot gris and consumed fresh summer rolls, tofu and too many dishes that I TeHe (and others) diligently ordered whilst I was chatting away with Cwilson.
Located just a short walk away from Central station, Madam Nhu is tucked away on a little corner that strikes me as odd that I haven't seen it before. After walking in with a gang of 8 with no reservations, we briefly lingered at bar stools before we were given a table and left to inspect the drink and food menus. Unfortunately we had gone on a Monday, so cocktails were unavailable, but in true classy fashion we all felt like some white wine and went along with a bottle of pinot gris.
Amongst a flurry of summer rolls, we got the BBQ duck fillet summer rolls with hoisin sauce, salad summer rolls w/ hoisin sauce and crispy shiitake spring rolls w/ green chilli sauce. The rolls were all very fresh and crunchy, the accompanying sauces were packed full of flavour and the assortments of vegetables and vermicelli gave each roll a lovely variety in texture - not to mention the serving portions were absolutely perfect for a group as big as our own! It didn't seem like I had an outright favourite, but I think I liked the shiitake spring rolls the best.
For the mains, we shared the bun bo grilled beef and salad, Madame's Fried Chicken (aka MFC), silken tofu with sichuan pepper salt and chilli and salt and pepper squid with shallot and chilli. The bun bo grilled beef salad was absolutely delicious. It was fresh, light, flavoursome, the meat was amazingly seasoned, the noodles perfectly cooked and cooled and (once again) the serving portions were just right. I have to admit that Madame's Fried Chicken was a bit of a let down given how much hype is given about them in the blogosphere and I didn't really enjoy it that much - in fact, opposite to what everyone raves about, on the night that we went I found that the chicken was a tad too chewy and the whole dish was a bit greasy. The salt and pepper squid, albeit quite tasty, was also a bit of a let down only on the basis that it was a bit too battery for my liking - but it was nonetheless very nice and I chomped down more than a few pieces eagerly.
The restaurant itself is very small and cute, somewhere where you could get loud (like our own table of 8) and enjoy a cosy and intimate dinner should you wish to have one. Seemingly very popular with locals, there appeared to always be a few people waiting for a table and upon leaving at around 8, a short line had formed at the door (maybe because people were trying to escape the dismal weather with a hot bowl of pho).
A very casual little place to eat, very much in sync with the vibe of Surry Hills itself, I'm currently on a look out for more places like this that take the atmosphere of casual dining more associated with places for brunch and cafes, to a dinner context and environment.