I’m going to have to eat my words. Hopefully not literally. For ages I’ve been citing Pho Dzung as the easiest spot to go for good pho up my end of town (you know, up the top end) and that although I think MVNH is better, Pho Dzung comes a good second.
Not only is the pho seriously msg-erific and prone to cause serious headaches and parched throats, I was actually poisoned by the food this time around. And I think the deliciousness of the pho has gone downhill too, just sayin’.
This is a fail. Service is bad (although when has it ever been good?), the place is still as popular as ever and it is a cheap eat, but desperation won’t drive me here now. I would much prefer to head down to Swanston Street and get some real food that won’t leave me feeling msg’d and rotten on the inside.
This is definitely the most popular Pho spot in Melbourne: like every other pho destination from here to the Mekong delta, it has patrons spilling from the doors and knocking each other around with their elbows trying to get first dibs for the next free table… but the thing that sets it apart is that it has the reputation for the best pho around. Even the cute jibe on the front window about Bill Clinton eating there is a hint to its popularity: it’s a Melbourne institution.
So how does it rate?
The criteria for my impromtu celebratory lunch the day I got certified was that it was;
1. close to work;
2. could accommodate 8 people without stress;
3. had a variety of foods that we’d all eat;
4. table service, and;
All of my previous blog posts have been a mere warmup to this point. Now we get down to business, finding and sharing with you: the best food , the best restaurant and dining experiences, the best value for money and (of course) all the places that you want to avoid if you’re after any of the above – in Melbourne.
A bit dramatic? Probably.
But Chin Chin definitely deserves it.
Admit it, you’ve been dying to hear what I think of Longrain, one of the city’s most venerable contemporary Thai restaurants. It’s a dining experience; it’s about the service, the ambience, the wine and, most importantly, the quality of the food.
So most of my work crew were excited to go have our Christmas lunch here the other week (yes, we’re a little late, December was too busy for lunch!) and I was too. I had come here only once before, after trying numerous times on a Friday night to get a spot – it’s extremely popular. Best bet is to always book a table, but you’re going to need a number of people to do so; they only take bookings for Friday lunch (in fact, the only day they’re open for lunch) and for larger groups. So they suggest you put your name down on the waiting list as with so many other places in the non-booking zone of the CBD (this really irks me) – or you can just come early as I did that time.
So imagine our collective disappointment that Longrain did not live up to our expectations.
What do you do when you’re drunk of a Friday evening and need somewhere to go for deliciously rich Viet food? You come to Victoria Street. Once we’d confessed that we were only still learning the inroads of eating out in Richmond, the boy’s best mate and his girlfriend packed us up and shipped us off to Vietnam. I mean, Minh Minh.
I don’t think that I really appreciated how good the food is on offer down Victoria Street. I have had yet to try anything that hasn’t been, frankly, less than surprising (and less than $15 a meal). When you’ve gone and blown a wad of dough (heh, cooking pun) on drinks all afternoon (that is, on top of any free work drinks one may have already consumed) what you’re after is satisfying food for a good price.
And that’s what we got.
Terrible pun. But I did! I hadn’t been to MissChu for a while and that’s some sort of crime, given that I’m only a 5-10 minute walk away. It’s a long-time favourite of my dear friend S and is up her end of town, so we popped down for the lunchtime rush last week.
MissChu do very fresh, delicious Vietnamese food which you can have in (they have tables out the front and also inside down the side of the restaurant, but not much sitting space! You may have to share or sit at the long bar that runs the length of the kitchen) or you can even take away. Yes, THEY EVEN DELIVER. So now you understand – I should be eating MissChu every week.
One of E’s favourite things about going to get Pho for lunch at work is making as many Pho-puns as possible. The more cringe-worthy, the better. The title is a tribute to his wit.
He totally missed out today though! We went for Pho at Melbourne Vietnam Noodle House on Swanston Street, which is the perfect distance for the walk back to work on a full pho belly. Given the recent desire to move away from Pho Dzung, citing its MSG-erific condiments and slightly wilting ingredients, H led us to MV Noodle House.