Just about as controversial as declaring you don’t like pho on the streets of Ho Chi Minh, is naming the best Vietnamese restaurant on Victoria Street in Richmond. But one thing is for sure, if you want to eat quality Vietnamese food, you hop off the 109 tram at Victoria Street and take yourself for a wander.
The street is crowded with dining options so, resolute to the old-school approach, I decide where to eat based on crowds. Here the food is fast and the meals come cheap, although this is not at all relative to the quality or flavour.
There’s everybody here from local solo diners coming for their weekly fix, large family groups, to those like myself, who venture in for a taste of authentic Vietnamese. Although, despite our different dining dynamics, we all have one thing in common, the need for a quality bowl of pho. Like my Vietnamese comrades at the table next to me, I attempt to effortlessly demolish my bowl with chopsticks in one hand and a spoon in the other. I’m not so adept, but equally content.
In fact, talking with Phuoc Thanh Bakery owner Danny Nguy, we agree the food standard here is high, and in his eyes, better than Vietnam. There is some truth in that, as $4.50 later I devour a pork banh mi, post pho.
Holla Coffee Roasters, a green leafy oasis, serving Saigon Scrambled Eggs and Crompton Coffee, offer a few bowls of overnight simmered pho, alongside their small menu, to the regulars. If you do happen to miss out, follow your nose up the street, and you may stumble across a new favourite. But be prepared for some debate.
Eat: Pho Chu The
This restaurant specialises in pho. Their $12 medium bowl satisfies generously and their Vietnamese iced coffee is another best-seller. For banh-mi rolls that are baked in house, Phuoc Thanh Bakery offers a generous $4.50 vegetable, meat and herb packed roll.
- 270 Victoria Street, Richmond
- 9428 7797
Shop: Minh Phat Supermarket
To explore more of the exotic, Minh Phat Supermarket is kitted out with some of the hardest to find Asian ingredients, including dried octopus, scallop stock and green Sriracha for the chilli enthusiasts. There’s also an array of Asian cookware available.
- 2-8 Nicholson Street, Abbotsford
- 9429 4028
Explore: Orient Curio
This antique furniture store, boasts home decor sourced from Asia. The winding corners showcase ceramics, woodcarvings, occasional bamboo pieces and vintage hand-painted scrolls. Specialising in furniture from China, Tibet, Mongolia, each is handpicked.
- 471 Victoria Street, Abbotsford