Jurisdiction: Thai, Vietnamese, Burgers, Hot Dogs, Bar
Ratio decidendi: Tries to be too many things to too many people and in the process isn’t all that good at any of it. Factor in the above average pricing and you start to wonder how this place gets as much traffic as it does. On the plus side though there’s no shortage of TV screens for sports fans.
Salient features: yum nam kow tod ($16)
Scope of discovery: above and Grandma Noodle ($15), Mexican Chilli Burger ($15), Fried Chicken Drumsticks ($10)
Case note: Little Rumour has a slight personality disorder – Thai, Vietnamese, burgers, hot dogs, and a ‘healthy’ grilled menu can make for quite a prolonged ordering experience as diners navigate multiple menus and boards.
An early conclusion I came to was to avoid the burger and hot dog fare. There are significantly better options not all that far from here such as Burger North on Bridge Street where you’ll find the best pound for pound burger on the Wynyard side of the city. The Mexican chilli burger had almost a ‘mushy’ consistency to the patty and I knew I should have withdrawn my deep fried chicken drumsticks order when the waitress had to duck off to double check it was something they were still doing.
From the Thai and Vietnamese dishes I tried, the pick of a very pedestrian bunch was the Yum Nam Kow Tod which comprises a big bowl of mince fried with ginger, mind, red onions and chilli and a couple of fried rice balls. Stir fried mince and crunchy rice balls make for a tasty combo – if only there were more of the latter tho as I found the protein-carb ratio pretty lopsided and eating pure mince gets a bit much after a few mouthfuls!
The grandma noodles are hokkien noodles stir fried with chilli paste, beef AND chicken and beansprouts. The main plus is the generosity with the protein – which helped justify the $15 price tag – but found the sauce to be far too sweet for my liking.
My only experience of the vietnamese options wasn’t positive either. The vermicelli in the bun cha seemed almost undercooked and clumped together making it difficult to evenly mix through with the salad and sauce in the bowl. The spring rolls which are usually gems you need to ration for pockets of flavour explosion after too many mouthfuls of healthy green veg – offered no respite here.
Obiter dicta: for much better value Asian lunch fare my preference would be to visit either Malay Chinese Takeaway or play food roulette at Hunter Connection.