In the Box Hill hub, there are quite a few Vietnamese restaurants on Carrington Street. Indochine is probably the largest and most popular one,. I’ve tried Indochine, and couldn’t understand the appeal, so off to the next one on the street. Tan Tan is just a few doors down from Indochine and now being so far away from Springvale, I’ve still yet to find a great Crispy Chicken with Tomato Rice dish, so for every new Vietnamese restaurant I try, I always seek out this dish which has yet to be topped.
Tan Tan’s Crispy Chicken with Tomato Rice lacks the highs of a great dish, the tomato rice is devoid of tomato flavour, and seems overly soft. I prefer a bit of bite to my rice when it is fried, and a great Tomato rice in my eyes also adds egg. The chicken also lacks flavour, just salt and unfortunately, too dry. The sweet and sour sauce is much needed to bring flavour to this dish that is dry and lacking in taste. A real shame
The Lemongrass Chicken and Stir Fry with Rice, is an especially fragrant dish with the lemongrass but again, nothing really stood out. The chicken cooked well, and the capsicum adds depth of flavour, apart from that it could be a little forgettable.
Beef and Chicken Combination Pho is a staple at every Vietnamese restaurant, however the soup here isn’t too flash. Lacking in flavour as compared with the popular and local favourite Pho places such as I Love Pho 264 in Richmond, and Pho Hung Vuong in Springvale. The soup is the star of a Pho dish so it’s disappointing that it is very average here.
I can’t say that I found Tan Tan to be memorable for its dishes which I really did hope it would be. One of the pluses was that the staff were very friendly, and the dishes weren’t too expensive but I’m not too sure that would be enough to get me to go back there again for sometime.
9 Carrington Rd
Box Hill VIC 3128
Mekong is a Vietnamese restaurant located on Swanston Street, Melbourne and I’ve walked by it countless of times but never really have the urge to venture in. For one, the place looks like it hasn’t been renovated or cleaned in at least 10 years and many years back they voluntarily closed for pest control. My relatives came down for a visit and they like this kind of food so we thought there shouldn’t be any harm in dining there and it seems quite popular so it must be good?
My impressions of the place were already at an all time low, and getting seated you can see that cleanliness is not their priority. Tables and floors all have food scraps around. The supposedly clean tea cups still have food remnants on them. I don’t think I’m an utter clean freak or anything, but I do like to dine at places that at least feel clean.
Well I guess people come here for food so let’s talk about that. To go to a restaurant with the word Pho in it and not try their Pho seems blasphemous. So I opted for the Small Pho with Chicken, and I think it was reasonable. The soup wasn’t fantastic by any means, that feat goes to I Love Pho on Victoria St, Richmond and Pho Hung Vuong, Springvale but respectable. It lacks that same punch you get from the others, probably MSG but flavour is lacking.
Everything else is pretty much standard, it’s a nice cheapish meal but my OCD with cleanliness probably got in the way with actually enjoying the meal.
Pho Bo Ga Mekong Vietnam
241 Swanston St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Pho Hung Vuong has been around ever since I can remember. Located in Springvale, the South East’s bustling Vietnamese community, has one of the most popular Vietnamese restaurants in Victoria. Not only is it always packed full of people, but is well known for its delicious and authentic Pho. It used to have a few other restaurants, one on Victoria Street, Richmond, I think it’s called Pho Hung Vuong 2 (Original!) but I’m not too sure if there are owned by the same people.
Pho Hung Vuong doesn’t go out of its way to impress you, the place looks like it hasn’t been maintained since the shopping centre opened way back when. Although it’s not the most pleasant experience, the food does more than make up for it.
Everybody that visits Pho Hung Vuong comes for their famous Pho. In three different sizes, like most Pho eateries, small, medium and large, with your choice of chicken, beef, mixed or even with added sausage. There are quite a few other ingredients you can add to your order but the above mentioned ones are the most popular.
What makes their Pho so good is the soup. It is packed full of flavour, I don’t know if it’s also packed full of MSG (Probably) but it is one of the best tasting soups around so it’s hard to make a fuss about it. The chicken/beef are perfectly cooked, with the beef gently cooking in the hot soup while you eat. It’s tender and delicious, what more could you ask for.
Of course they just don’t serve Pho, as it is a Vietnamese restaurant you can get the Fried Pork/Chicken dishes with Vietnamese salad/vegetables and rice, and all the other standards you would normally find in a Vietnamese eatery. My lack of discussion over their other food isn’t meant to be an indication of the quality of their other dishes. It’s by all means quite good. It’s just when you come to Pho Hung Vuong, you definitely come for the Pho.
You really would be hard pressed to find a better Pho restaurant in Victoria.
Pho Hung Vuong
Shop 2 / 15 Balmoral Avenue
Springvale VIC 3171
03 9558 5147