Seven months after it opened, The Rolling Spring Roll is running like a well-oiled machine. At lunchtime on Friday, most of the tables at Long Island’s only Vietnamese restaurant were occupied. Two friendly servers handled the dining room; I could see three cooks busily filling orders in the kitchen.
Our bowls of noodle soup (pho) were served quickly, along with a platter of bean sprouts, basil sprigs and sliced jalapeños. My beef pho was richly flavored, but the overall effect was one of delicacy. This was no Chinese noodle soup replete with hunks of roasted, burnished-skin chicken, nor a Japanese ramen with hunks of pork belly and a boiled egg. The pho floated barely cooked slices of fatless beef and meatballs so lean they seemed more gefilte than polpette.
Can I make a confession? I’m not a fan of rice noodles. The act of gathering them up — whether with chopsticks of fork — is usually too much for them to bear and they just break back into the soup. Just another example of wheat besting rice.
Incidentally, The Rolling Spring Roll's owner Joe Bui was nowhere to be seen, but his presence was felt. And I take a special pleasure in seeing a restaurant whose mice are emphatically not at play while the cat is away.
The Rolling Spring Roll is at 189 Main St., Farmingdale, 631-609-5182.