Basil Cafe & Noodle House [Bun Nuong]
I was very excited to try out Basil Cafe today, as SO many people have talked about it over the past year. It is located at 1513 North Richmond Street and I will be the first to admit, the outside is not much to look at. But, my friends, it was a wonderful experience, from the food, to the service, to the outstanding decor (including a few giant bowls of candy on the counter of the bar).
Don’t Judge A Noodle House From The Outside
From the outside, the place resembles a neighborhood pub, like Hank & Karen’s. The picture below highlights the beautiful interior. The place is chic, clean, and decorated with different red plants and lamps/lighting. It didn’t feel like a typical Chinese/Japanese place. It was much more upscale and the menu was filled with interesting sounding items.
What Else But Bun Nuong?
The menu was very different, as they specialize in Vietnamese Cusine and Noodle dishes. I went with something a bit out of the ordinary. I opted for the Bun Nuong. What is this? Good question. The description from the menu describes it as ‘Rice vermicelli noodles (served room temperature) topped with freshly shredded lettuce, carrots, chopped mint and basil, cucumbers, bean sprouts and roasted peanuts. Served with a choice of grilled chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, or tofu and a side of the house carrot-daikon relish and the house sweetened vinaigrette.
OMGVIS (Oh, My Goodness Vietnamese Is Great!)
The food came out soon after ordering and came on three separate plates. The (chicken) Bun Nuoung was in a large bowl, there was a small dish of noodles on the side, along with a small plate of vinaigrette. The chicken was warm, but the rest was served at room temperature. All of the ingredients were pretty basic, but combining them all really made the dish come together. It was absolutely amazing! The mint and basil made every bite memorable and made my mouth water. The dressing was sweet and helped add flavor to the noodles on the bottom of the bowl that I didn’t mix in with the rest of the ingredients.
Cost? $11 for the large dish of noodle greatness. This was a little steep for lunch, but I am glad I tried it out. I will be back. Who is coming with me?
1513 N Richmond Street
Appleton, WI 54914