The Lido has been around for many years serving Vietnamese food at the Brisbane Street end of William Street – by all accounts it turns out good quality food, at reasonable prices, to a loyal customer base. On the day we popped in for lunch there were a number of people tucking in to their meals, obviously enjoying themselves.
It is a barn-like space, lots of tables, as well as a few outside on the footpath for those who fancy al fresco dining; Lido is licensed with a small wine list, with room for improvement, but there are a few good wines and beers available – wine can also be brought along if there is nothing on the list that appeals. We had brought along a bottle of rosé and this sufficed to quench our thirst, along with the proffered water.
Anyway, we were on our laksa hunt, so the seafood laksa seemed to be the obvious choice; unfortunately it just didn’t live up to expectations.
The large bowl of soup and noodles had a fairly unappealing dull brownish appearance, no gloss, no gleam, and on first taste it was obvious that, although some coconut milk was evident, it had been diluted to such an extent the soup was watery, totally lacking in the creamy richness expected of curry laksa. There was little chilli heat, and the accompanying chopped chilli and chilli paste didn’t particularly help in lifting the flavour. There seemed to be raw spice sprinkled across the surface, which didn’t assist either the taste or texture of the dish with the uncooked spice clinging to the side of the bowl as the soup level went down.
The prawns, fish and tofu in the soup were cooked well – prawns still retaining a little firmness – and yellow egg noodles likewise were cooked satisfactorily. However, a disconcerting aspect of the dish was the inclusion of cooked leaves of iceberg lettuce – and a lot of them – this added little to the dish other than an unpleasant slippery texture.
So, in our quest for good laksa, the Lido quite missed the mark, unfortunately.
However, as I said Lido has been around for a long time and has clearly captured the hearts and tastebuds of its customers, so on another occasion we will return to try out the Vietnamese dishes on offer on the extensive menu. I should also say that the waiters were friendly and quick to seat and serve us which bodes well for a future visit.