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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

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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.

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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.

Impressions

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.

Tan Tan on Urbanspoon

Tan Tan
9 Carrington Rd
Box Hill VIC 3128

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T’relek is another great Vietnamese restaurant in Richmond. T’relek offers a great variety of dishes and delicious nonetheless. What makes T’relek different from the many other Vietnamese restaurants around these parts is cleanliness and service. I find service here to be a step above, friendly and attentive.

The dish pictured above is their Crispy Noodles Seafood Combination. The noodles are indeed crispy and crunchy, and with the generous offering of vegetables, seafood, chicken and beef it all works well together. The sauce is similar to an egg gravy you may find in a Malaysian Char Hor Fun, and whilst not as flavourful it still has a pleasant aroma and flavour to it. Not too salty, and enough sauce to go round.

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T’relek’s Grilled Pork Chop and Egg is another decent dish, with well cooked pork and a runny sunny side up egg, freshly cut vegetables as garnish and shredded pork.. It’s basically a Broken Rice dish but without the commonly added pâté. What this dish needs is a dressing sauce, sweet chilli sauce does complement this dish well actually.

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The Tomato Rice with Diced Beef and Stir Fried Vegetables is another generous dish, with plentiful capsicum, onions and beef. Unfortunately, the stir fry here is a tad over salted. I find the tomato rice needs egg mixed through and a tad more tomato flavour but it’s tasty but not exceptional.

Impressions

Although T’relek’s dishes aren’t the tastiest Vietnamese in Richmond, it does provide a fulfilling meal and with friendly service, you’d be hard to be displeased.

T'relek on Urbanspoon

T’relek
116 Victoria St
Richmond VIC 3121

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Pho 888 Box Hill on Station Street, is one of the few Vietnamese restaurants in Box Hill. Primarily serving Pho, it does have a small selection of rice dishes and entrees as well. The restaurant is one of your typical Pho joints that you may find on Victoria Street, Richmond or Springvale, how does it compare? Lets see

I ordered the Beef sausage Pho just to try something a bit different (a bit unusual), the soup base lacks a bit of flavour and I also noticed they do not add coriander as a garnish to their soup. That’s not to say the soup was bland, it definitely has a nice flavour to it but compared with the greats in Melbourne, it is just a bit lacking.

The plentiful of onions they add are very strong in taste, probably too much onions for my liking but some might be preferential to their generosity. The beef sausage falls apart very easily, I’m not sure how it’s made because it’s almost like eating mince meat with a bit of pepper balls as seasoning. Not the best sausage I must admit, I think the beef and chicken would actually taste better together.

Finding good Vietnamese food in Box Hill is a challenge, so my opinion on Pho 888 is that it’s sufficient but if you miss great Vietnamese food from places in Richmond and Springvale, or maybe even Footscray, you may be a bit disappointed.

Pho 888 Box Hill on Urbanspoon

Pho 888 Box Hill

552 Station Street
Box Hill VIC 3128

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 Thanh Phong on Victoria Street is one of the many Vietnamese restaurants in Richmond. It’s one of the more cleaner venues around these parts. They must have renovated maybe in the past couple of years or so. During lunchtime weekdays, I wouldn’t call this place busy but it has a decent following. I wouldn’t say the food here sets it apart from the other Vietnamese eateries in anyway. It serves mostly the same cuisine you’d find elsewhere.

Pictured above, is their Cambodian Dry Noodle Soup (Alt: Hu Tieu Nam Vang), it comes with this crispy pastry which I believe is filled with some sort of vegetable, along with warm seasoned noodles with bean shoots, chicken, celery and fried and spring onions and coriander as their garnishes. It is served with soup with seafood and spring onions and coriander on top. Let’s start with the soup, it’s your very typical Vietnamese soup. Seasoned well, so it is certainly bursting with flavour and the prawn, fish ball and calamari. The seafood is a pleasant surprise and although tough calamari isn’t usually my thing, it complements the noodles well.

The pastry is nice and crunchy, but with enough bite to it (it has some chewiness to it). I really did enjoy the dressing or seasoning they add to the noodles but I can’t really put my finger on what they add to it. Probably a bit of soy,  and it’s has a tongue tingling spiciness to it. It’s a very crunchy dish overall because of the celery, pastry and bean sprouts. Quite a lovely, tasty and fresh dish.

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Impressions

Their Broken Rice with Egg and Pate, is a tad disappointing though. Clumpy wet rice isn’t at all appetising. Although Thanh Phong’s Spicy Beef Noodle Soup is both spicy and delicious. Similar to Pho, but a red tinged colour and wonderfully beefy in taste.

Thanh Phong, probably isn’t for everyone. There are a few dishes you could probably find better places to order like Pho (I Love Pho) but their Cambodian noodles are the best I’ve had on Victoria Street. It is just sifting through their menu to find the gems, like you may do with many other restaurants.

Not my first place I think of when I want Vietnamese but not so far down on my list. I’d say give it a go.

Thanh Phong on Urbanspoon

Thanh Phong

240 Victoria St
Richmond VIC 3121

 

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First Taste is one of my favourite restaurants in Springvale. I love the claypot rice, absolutely adore it. Being able to scrape the rice from the sides is just a treat. I never knew there was a First Taste in Box Hill, and now it’s even more convenient to dine and order my favourite Black Pepper Beef Claypot Rice.

What is noticed is slightly different from the Springvale eatery is that they use less or sometimes none at all of coriander and they don’t leave the claypot bowls to cook as long. What you have is less crispy rice but still ridiculously hot, and the lacking flavour from the coriander. However everything else is basically the same, the beef is nice and tender with a pleasant fragrance and taste of pepper on the tongue. First Taste also provides a generous serving of sauce on top.

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I’m not a big fan of First Taste’s other claypot dishes though. The chicken, Chinese sausage and mushroom with soy sauce isn’t too my liking. It’s one of those slightly herbal tinged dishes, and I’m not fond of Chinese sausage with soy and of course the big mushrooms. That’s not to say it’s not cooked well, I definitely say for those that like these kind of dishes would find this perfectly satisfying. Again, they don’t leave the claypots to cook long enough so the sides and bottom of the claypot bowl aren’t as crispy.

Impressions

First Taste Box Hill is much like it’s brother (or sister) in Springvale. Slightly varied but familiarity is key here and you can’t find better Claypot rice anywhere else. Yes even Claypot King.

First Taste on Urbanspoon

First Taste
604 Station Street
Box Hill VIC 03128

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