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 night after my boyfriend’s memorable 25th surprise party, we banded together a group of 8 of us to walk down to Victoria Street for Sunday brunch before contemplating the horror that was the scene of the party crime.
T and his girlfriend S, as well as most of her housemates, have been many times to Quint and heralded it the local breakfast joint of choice for the cheap and easy breakfast. As you know, I’ve been to Victoria Street a lot recently for dinner, so I was interested to see how we’d fare searching for breakfast down there.
I have to say, I was disappointed.
Disappointed in the food, which was extremely mediocre. I ordered the ‘Atlantic’ to fulfil my need for scrambled eggs and salmon, coffee to wake the hell up. Disappointed in the service; S explained that she asks them every single time to cook her eggs longer and for a side of mushrooms which NEVER COME. Disappointed.
I found myself walking down Beach Road in Port Melbourne on a very moody Friday, early afternoon, just after I had handed in my final reports with a nervous energy that can only be compared to downing 5 cups of coffee in rapid succession (which come to think of it, I probably did that morning). I wasn’t going back to work, so I figured I’d kill time with a well-deserved lunch and beer.
Nautical at 3 Station Pier is the sort of large dock-warehouse kind of space which they market as a venue-type location. I spotted the lunch menu in one of the bay-facing windows and decided this was just the place to indulge a little in a lunch for one.
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.
Don’t come here on a date. We were here to have a light Chinese dinner before heading out into town and there was a couple sitting next to us looking more uncomfortable with the place than with each other, which is saying something. Bokchoy Tang is never busy, which is confusing, because it has alright food and is located right inside the tourist drawcard that is Federation Square.
I’m not saying Bokchoy Tang is bad. In fact, it’s one of the easiest places to get good quality Chinese food any night of the week when you’re on your way to something in Fed Square or at the Arts Centre. In fact, it’s my go-to spot before the ballet. But being easy doesn’t necessarily equate to value for money or the best Chinese dining in town. I often come away feeling a little underwhelmed and a bit too much lighter in the pockets.
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.