Seoul Soul, can easily be missed by passers-by. It is this extremely tiny restaurant, almost hidden on the always populated Victoria Street, Richmond, near The Hive Shopping Centre. In between The Hive SC entrance and a corner cafe, you’ll find this little gem. Only housing less than 20 people, it is always popular inside and waiting around lunchtime is common.
As you may have guessed from the name, Seoul Soul serve Korean cuisine from their most commonly known dishes such as Bulgogi, but also the more obscure and spicy dishes. Typically, they also do BBQ/grills so it really caters for most.
I’ve previously had the Spicy Tofu bulgogi and that was a delight to eat. It comes with stir fried tofu with a spicy sauce, salad and oddly enough a slice of orange. You’ll find this is common for most of the bulgogi’s served. The spiciness of the sauce is fantastic but isn’t too spicy, just enough to give the always bland tofu some flavour and kick.
The salad is very similar to the Japanese salad dressing you can buy in Asian supermarkets, it has that slightly sesame taste to it. I really do love this dressing so it’s always appetising.
You might be saying, Denny, what is that delicious dish you ordered that is pictured. Well, my friends, this is their Special Stone Pot Bibimbap. It comes super sizzling hot and crackles with delight as it’s served. It’s primarily a vegetarian dish with the bean sprouts, carrots, beans and capsicum. There are a couple of stone pot bibimbaps, prawn and beef. I’m uncertain if there was a stone pot vegie bibimbap but it doesn’t seem out of plausibility.
I ordered the beef, which comes with minced beef and cannot currently be seen as it sits underneath that sunny side up egg. The yolk that oozes out just binds everything together. It is simply a refreshing and satisfying meal.
Seoul Soul is quite a treat if you can get a table. Well presented food but leaning on the pricier side of things but it’s okay here because the food here is tasty and doesn’t disappoint.
323 Victoria St
Abbotsford VIC 3067
Ying Thai is the first location of this popular Thai restaurant. Ying Thai 2 is located in Carlton and is frequently visited by Melbourne Uni students and locals. The Richmond venue doesn’t appear to be as popular around lunch weekdays but it doesn’t indicate quality whatsoever.
The dish pictured above was the Chicken Flat Rice Noodle with Chilli and Basil, otherwise known as Pud Kee Mow. What I liked about this dish was that it was spicy, and a really decent hit of chilli at that. It might be too spicy for some, but it just hits the spot for me.
The Pud Kee Mow, you can choose your protein of choice from Chicken, Beef, Pork or Vegetable, like many of their dishes actually. I’ve never actually had this before but I really did like the flavour, the spiciness, a bit of soy that adds sweetness and a hint of salt and the basil. You can’t forget the fragrant basil.
They add carrots, capsicum, broccoli and cabbage if memory serves me correctly. I liked the abundance of vegetables no matter how oily this stir fried noodles dish may be. The chicken was on the tougher side, but I wouldn’t call it very overcooked. I think with stir fry it’s very difficult to cook well, so it was acceptable for me.
The Thai Fried Rice is also excellent, and very filling too. So tasty that I even forgot to take a picture. Next time.
Ying Thai serves as tasty Thai food. I may not know what authentic Thai food is but I know what my tastebuds say, and they say it’s pretty darn good. If you’re ever near the corner of Hoddle Street and Victoria Street, give it a go. Just may need to be a bit patient, sometimes it takes 10 minutes or more for food to arrive.
Ying Thai (Menu)
235 Victoria St
Abbotsford VIC 3067
iSpicy is a Thai restaurant located on Victoria Street, Richmond. This particular restaurant is called iSpicy 2 because there is another one located on Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn. As the name suggests, it specialises in spicier Thai dishes which I love. There are quite a few Thai restaurants around Richmond, and in particular, Victoria Street which is great because I really can’t get enough of Thai food.
I ordered the Spicy stir fry crispy chicken with sweet basil, fresh chili and green beans on rice which was marvellously spicy. It packs a lot of heat. It’s definitely not to everyone’s tastes but the crispy chicken was soft and light in texture but also crispy. Really nice.
It was complemented by the spicy beans and chilli. It’s hard to describe the taste, it is mostly spicy but has a bit of salt and sweetness to it so that the chilli isn’t too over powering.
Their other dishes look just as lovely and again lives up to its name of iSpicy. Compared with Ying Thai, I still prefer Ying Thai it has more subtle flavours but definitely more complex and appealing. You’ll find a decent meal here, but probably just not for everyone.
80 Victoria St
Richmond VIC 3121
Loi Loi has become one of my favourite Chinese-Vietnamese eateries on Victoria Street. They serve a wide variety of rice, fried noodle, noodle soup dishes and main meals for dinner even with a mix of Asian inspired dishes that probably isn’t authentic but still offerings something different.
During lunch time, if you eat in or take away as I did this time, they provide complementary sweet corn soup which is a nice starter or finisher to your meal. Service tends to be pretty snappy too even during peak time, but of course, if the food isn’t good why bother? Luckily, the food in general does make you want to go back again.
I ordered the Thai Fried Noodles, and it uses the bee hoon noodles stir fried in a sweet, spicy and salty flavour, coating the noodles just gently. The flavour is a departure to what I usually eat, but nonetheless it is a satisfying dish. With the fish balls, prawns as your main protein, it complements the noodles well. The fried dried onions as a garnish definitely add both texture and a toasty flavour to the dish. You also get the pleasant surprise of chopped peanuts which again just come together so beautifully. I really can’t fault the dish, Loi Loi’s dishes are generous in size, but maybe just one criticism is that its a bit oily. If it tasted this good as a take-away dish, I can’t imagine how much better it would have been fresh from the wok.
As you would, when you go to a Vietnamese restaurant is to order their Crispy Chicken on Rice. As this was a take-away dish, the chicken wasn’t as crispy, sadly. The chicken was also a tad dry, but with the sweet chilli sauce, it makes a perfect combination. I usually prefer the Crispy Chicken and Tomato Rice but I don’t think Loi Loi has that as an option. This dish doesn’t meet the high standards of some of the Springvale restaurants but I think it’s a decent offering. Probably much better if it was served hot and crispy.
As mentioned before, you get a nice Sweet Corn Soup with your meal if you order for lunch. It doesn’t look as appealing here, but it’s tasty and lives up to its name. You probably can find this in many Chinese Food Court eateries, and it’s pretty much the same everywhere. I don’t think you can make a bad Sweet Corn Soup. All in all, nothing too flashy but it’s lovely of Loi Loi to serve this to customers free of charge.
Loi Loi doesn’t stray too far away from its Chinese-Vietnamese roots, but still has a few other South-East Asian dishes for added variety. Food is generally above average, and depending on the dish, can be fantastic. Really, if you’re in Richmond, wanting a good meal, Loi Loi is the place to go.
364 Victoria St
Richmond VIC 3121
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