Back in the bad old days it was virtually impossible to get a meal in Perth after 9pm. The minute hand would roll over from 8:59 and chefs would scamper from kitchens across town en masse like so many rats deserting a nightly sinking ship. There were a few other options mind, China town or The Moon café and numerous takeaway joints, but if you tired of these (as you inevitably would) then your only other option was a grilled cheese sandwich and cup of Nescafé at Casa Yourplace. Thankfully those days are slowly being left behind us as we see our humble little town evolve to cater for the insomniac set that you’ll inevitably find in any large city.
One such step in the right direction is the recently opened U&I Café on the corner of William and Francis St in Northbridge. Serving up decently priced Vietnamese fare, it’s open, long time locals might want to sit down before reading this next part, 24 hours a day, seven days a week! That’s right folks, your eyes do not deceive you. That means that any time of the day or night you get an MSG craving you can make your way in to Northbridge and scratch that Asian cuisine itch. What’s more, it’s actually quite a nice place when compared to the brash, rundown vibe of China town or the unspeakable seediness of several of our former 24hr dining establishments (I’m talking about you Food Kings and Hungry Spot). They have indoor seating and a large alfresco area from with to sit and watch the crowd go by, which can be a pretty darn interesting pastime in the wee hours of the weekend let me tell you.
Beyond that, the Pho is decent, certainly not anywhere near the best in town but undoubtedly better than the dodgy donner kebab you’d most likely otherwise be eating. On the plus side, they make great freshly squeezed juices and smoothies and the banana, pineapple and mango number that I had was huge, tangily delicious and a very reasonable $5. If you’re in the mood for something stronger the alcoholic drinks are also reasonably priced too. They did forget our drink order, but at the end of the day it’s a place where you can get decent, reasonably priced food and drinks at any hour of the day or night, so in my book that makes it a total winner. Something that U&I can both enjoy (and you thought you were going to get a pun-free entry! Ha! You should know better than that by now).