You may think that healthy fast food is a contradiction in terms. I would normally agree with you. Microwave cooking has been shown to change some of your food into cancer-producing chemicals.
However, many countries in South East Asia have very little fuel for cooking. So they invented ways to cook fast – thousands of years before someone invented microwave cookers. Note: this shop keeps changing hands so I don’t know what Oriental food place will be there when you visit.
Stir frying is a brilliant idea for instance and produces that al-dente texture that I enjoy so much. Unfortunately, rice now has rising levels of arsenic. That shouldn’t matter if you don’t eat it too often. Avoid eating it every day. This problem will get worse, as arsenic applied by farmers over the last hundred years sinks to the water table. Rice concentrates arsenic from the irrigation water. It is causing problems in countries where they eat rice every day.
There are two restaurants in central Wanneroo that meet my requirements for tasty, fast, and healthy food. I’ve dined at the Chinese Foo Hua every month or two for several years now. Their food is always delicious and the servings are generous, but they put up their prices recently to the upper teens.
Recently I tried the Vietnamese Phu Vinh 2 restaurant for a $10 meal. I was just recovering from severe indigestion, so I hoped that the food would be soothing. It was.
If you stand at the Dundebar Road traffic lights, you will see a bus shelter diagonally across the road to the Northwest. From the bus shelter, you’ll see the tower by the restaurant.
Why is the sky so blue? You can see from the photo on the right that this restaurant does not only open at night.
On Saturdays and Sundays, you can see that they open from mid-morning. Please note: they close on Mondays – I got caught out by that on my first attempted visit.
If it had been raining, I could have sheltered under the verandah and viewed the many photographs of food on their menu, covering two shop windows. The goat soup looked interesting, and cost only $10.
When I was in a restaurant in Paris, the home of superb cooking, an English family behind me demanded fish and chips. I was determined not to make their mistake, so I chose a Vietnamese bowl of soup.
A quarter of an hour later (that’s fast enough to be “fast food”) I was presented with an enormous bowl of “soup.” I think of soup as being a soup-plate full of liquid with some solids at the bottom. This bowl probably held a liter of soup, with solids sticking out at the top of the dark brown liquid. It smelled good.
I chose a Chinese spoon from the tools provided. I can use chopsticks but have never figured out how to use them for soup.
It was like a voyage of discovery. The first spoonful looked too smooth to be the promised goats meat and turned out to be some variety of dark brown mushroom. The next spoonful was braised goats meat; that was a pleasant variation from beef. Then there was something light brown, layered, and chewy. I thought at first it was some variety of pastry, but it was too chewy for that. Good! I like a variety of textures in my food.
Then there were some puffed up bits of pastry that had soaked up the soup so started to satisfy my thirst. Next came plenty of noodles, which tasted mostly of the delicious brown liquid surrounding them. Oh – I also enjoyed the slices of orange and the peanuts that came with the meal. The tall thermos held several cupfuls of tea, included free with every meal. That is unusual – most restaurants want you to be thirsty and buy an alcoholic drink, which is where they make most of their money.
When I had paid my $10 for the meal, the lady asked me if I had had enough. I got the impression that if I had asked for seconds, she would have supplied them. I could not have eaten any more, and besides I don’t know what the Vietnamese culture is. Perhaps they would be complimented if I asked for more, or perhaps it would be a social blunder. At least I was on safe grounds telling her that I had enjoyed the meal, and taking photographs.
On my next visit I tried their seafood soup. It was just as satisfying and soothing to my stomach.
It is a noodle restaurant, but there was a big choice in the menu, not only goat meat. I noticed seafood, pork, chicken, and beef. I wouldn’t touch hamburgers floating in toxic trans fats, but these noodle recipes should be healthy, and only a little more expensive than my home cooking. You can choose egg noodles instead of rice noodles if you are worried about arsenic in rice.
I asked a waitress how they cooked their food and she assured me that they use traditional methods – no microwaves.
How does it compare with Foo Hua food? It is cheaper for a start. Foo Hua offers a very large menu of mostly solid food, and I’ve never tried anything on their menu that I didn’t like. Their helpings are generous. The Vietnamese restaurant also offers dishes other than soup, but I haven’t tried any because they cost more. The duck dish looked very tempting so that I might spend big with $12 for a duck meal next visit.