Adelaide’s SEN has made a name for itself as a top spot along Gouger Street, on the western fringes of Chinatown, for its commitment to authentic Vietnamese cuisine in a relaxed setting. For city centre workers, the lunch menu at SEN is refreshingly concise and on point – spring rolls, chargrilled meat and seafood banh mi, noodle dishes and healthy brown rice topped with roasted duck, pork and more. SEN’s dinner menu takes it up a notch, offering a more gourmet approach to the popular Southeast Asian cuisine. Diners reserving for an evening meal should certainly turn to the chef’ specials – Vietnamese-style sizzling steak and chargrilled prawns and sugar cane, salt and pepper flounder or barramundi at market-fresh prices, or the pork spare ribs with the chef’s special sweet and sour sauce.
The staff were friendly and extremely knowledgeable while the food was delicious and beautifully presented. A thoroughly enjoyable experience and wonderful that we were able to share our experience with visitors from Melbourne.
We had a lovely dinner here. The staff were very friendly, welcoming and helpful, and even saw us off with a smile at the door as we left after our meal. Definitely a kid friendly dining venue too - much to our relief as we were eating out with a 3 year-old and a baby. As for the food - magnificent, delicious and authentic - definitely did not disappoint. If we hadn't been so full, we'd have eagerly tried some more dishes and sampled their desserts. Great value for money for both service and cuisine.
This was my parents' choice for their birthday dinners after eating there in June 2017. We tried a lot of new dishes this time and everything was delicious, particularly the Honey Chicken and the Chef's Special Pork Spare Ribs. The entrees were all huge and everyone enjoyed their meals. We will be back again for sure!
Entree and main was fantastic and the waitress very good, would definitly come back for another meal and the prices were very reasonable. Overall a great experience 👍
SEN offers visitors an extensive menu of Vietnamese classics for affordable prices given the generous serving sizes. We were provided with a large drinks menu with a delicious house beer, exotic juices and smoothies on offer such as fresh coconut, durian fruit, and even avocado! Along with a refreshing mango juice, there is a selection of teas, wines, and the much lauded Vietnamese-iced coffee which is a must if you are just starting your journey in Vietnamese cuisine. We decided to get into the thick of it by choosing from the impressive selection of entrees in meat and vegetarian options, starting with fresh, cold vegetarian spring rolls, fried spring rolls, tasty curry puffs, and caramelized quails, all garnished with traditional beds of grated vegetable which won points for presentation and even more points for taste. Once we were nice and full and had a chance to order more during the entree, we did not have to wait long at all before the first signs of our mains made their appearance. Chef's signature dishes are definitely worth trying with such staples as sizzling BBQ, sweet and sour soup with pork or beef, seafood steamboat, roasted duck, salt-and-pepper flounder or barramundi, sizzling crocodile with garlic and chilli (which I will definitely be sure to try the next that I am there) as well as 'sweet' dishes like honey chicken and sweet and sour, and copious amounts of rice, noodles, and hotpot. Add to this large servings of salads such Vietnamese salad, lotus root and prawn salad, seafood, and even jellyfish salad for the brave (another dish to try), there is a lot to choose from and only one stomach to put it in. Thankfully, that's what return trips are for! Other things worthy of mentioning are the appetizing soups that we did not get to try this time around, stir fried water spinach with garlic sauce, and the variety of creative bean curd dishes that we unfortunately did not taste due to 'space constraints' and an overall feeling of fullness and satisfaction just from the entrees alone (always the sign of a good restaurant, in my opinion). As if the extensive menu mentioned thus far isn't enough for the hungriest of us, there are various mains and specials that we will need to try the next time that we are in the city and in urgent need of good food. These include such classics as curried beef, Vietnamese seafood soup with egg noodle, Vietnamese prawn cake, caramalized pork, spicy king prawn, and house stir-fried rice (which I am a total sucker for). We were even offered an option to choose from the restaraunt's "Wrap and Roll" menu which allows diners to join in and construct their own spring rolls with specially-brought rotating devices, rice paper and noodles, thus adding an original flair to the overall dining experience for those inclined to cook their own food. Other items of note include delicious special fried rice with four types of meat, or a seafood option for vegetarians - this can happily be extended to much of the rest of the menu as the chef and friendly staff seem to happily oblige the whims of us diners. We were also offered some extremely tasty vegetable dishes such as bean curd or steamed greens in the unmistakable sauces that make Vietnam so famous or its food such as garlic, oyster, nuts, ginger, chilli and lemongrass, or coconut. Our company finished the night with some of the more authentic Vietnamese desserts available including a high quality ice cream served in a box of either a coconut or sugar cane leaf with servings of delicious sticky rice and banana cooked in combination and offering a surprisingly pleasant cleanse of the palate reminiscent of rice-pudding but with an undeniable South-East Asian flair. Other desserts to try include banana fritter with ice cream, fried ice cream, chocolate mousse, fruit salad, sundae, and the curious case of the mung beans with coconut milk which we will gladly come to taste if only to see just how the chef pulls it all off. Ingredients were notably fresh, and the menu carries a personal touch with the chef showing off their definite love of herbs with generous dabs of fresh parsley and coriander scattered throughout many of the dishes. Facilities are clean, spacious, with an attractive drinks bar, and relaxing interior filled with paintings depicting Vietnamese temples and even a fireplace converted into a small, makeshift buddhist shrine - the latter of which I liked the most for some reason - not least for the fact that this detail added to the overall array of personal touches seen throughout the restartaunt and which pull the visitor into a relaxed Vietnamese diner rather than a suit-and-tie joint with extremely long waiting times (we were very happily surprised by the speed with which our entrees were brought to us, and even more surprised when the staff began serving us our mains while they were clearing away said entree plates). Staff were on call at all times, and very interested in our experience and wishes, all the while patiently explaining important tidbits of information about the ingredients and serving sizes to us plebs ^-^. Save yourself the trouble of forking out the big bucks for an overpriced restaraunt with flashy decorations, sparsely filled plates and overworked, indifferent staff, and choose, instead, a warm, homely and casual atmosphere with a hint of sophistication and generous servings of delicious, authentic Vietnamese chow. Definitely much more than a one-time visit.
This was our first visit to SEN and I can say with 100% certainty that we will be going back! The food was very well prepared and authentic with good size servings and the staff were incredibly friendly and attentive. I wont hesitate to recommend SEN to anyone wanting suggestions for dinner (they also do lunch!) on that side of Adelaide :)
SEN was great. Lovely food , staff and atmosphere. Thoroughly recommend the spring rolls - different to any we have ever had absolutely yummy. Staff wete great so obliging. There were 4 of us and they happily gave 4 pieces instead of menu 3 and made suggestions and he lped with choices. We will be back.
We were really impressed with Sen! Lovely decor, attentive service and good food. It was my birthday and they even brought me out a bottle of wine to wish me happy birthday at the end of our dinner! Never had that level of service before. Overall a very good experience and we would definitely go back!
Booked the restaurant after reading good reviews on the Internet and wasn't disappointed. We ordered the Vietnamese Spring roll, fried quails, and chef signature dishes like meatball and prawn on sugarcane wrap and roll. They were all very tasty. The waiters were also friendly and attentive. Best of all the price was reasonably at the lower end.
Wonderful food and terrific service. Great spot to meet with friends and have a conversation. This is one of the few places I've been recently where there's not a lot of background noise - we could hear each other and had a fantastic time. Highly recommend.