208 Victoria Street
Richmond VIC 3121
+61 3 9427 0292
Waking up to temperatures of ridiculous proportions on New Year’s Day, Marty and I were in need of some fuel to soothe our tired, old bodies. But because the weather was so hot, we decided that anything heavy and greasy were a no-no. So where did we end up going for breakfast? Why, Victoria Street Richmond for some good ol’ phở, of course! To me, phở is the perfect meal for it is soothing, light yet filling at the same time – there was no way we could go wrong.
We ended up trying Pho Dzung Tan Dinh, otherwise known as the ‘cock and bull’ phở joint. There’s one in the city and I think there is one in Box Hill too, so it’s definitely made its mark around town. The place was packed when we walked in from the 34 degree midday heat. Yep, quiet it ain’t. Luckily though, there were a few spare tables in the (thankfully) air-conditioned restaurant.
I’ve been good to stay away from coffee but the weather and my general tiredness meant that there was no way I couldn’t NOT order an iced white coffee ($2.50, a steal even for a Vietnamese restaurant). The coffee might have lacked that jaw-punching sweetness that I’m used to (they went skint on the condensed milk), but they certainly made up for it in the bitter stakes for they did their best not to over-dilute the damn thing with too much ice. It was great and if Marty’s mid-morning snores didn’t wake me up beforehand, this coffee certainly did. Meanwhile, the man himself ordered a traditional Vietnamese three-colour drink which was a bit on the ‘OMG so bloody sweet!’ side – maybe that’s where all my condensed milk went? Either way, though, he loved it.
I ordered a small brisket and rare beef phở ($7.50). Despite being in such a small bowl, the contents did extremely well to fill me up. The soup was pure and clear, with very little MSG while the pieces of beef sitting prettily on top were actually of decent quality and cut very thickly. I also liked that they actually used nice, meaty bits of brisket unlike other places where you’d be lucky to find a little sliver of meat amongst all the brisket fat. Unfortunately, I didn’t particularly like the noodles. Obviously the dried noodles, as opposed to the fresh ones, were used and they were nowhere near as chewy as they should be. Instead, they crumbled in my mouth when I chewed them.
I didn’t take a proper photo of Marty’s large beef and tendon phở ($9.50) but thank goodness he’s a wannabe hipster who is crazy about Instagram at the moment so I’ve crabbed this photo from him. I should probably get him to take my food photos from now on, hey? Anyway, he was disappointed with the size of his bowl – he expected a birdbath-sized bowl, especially since I read a blog that said that the bowls were gigantic, but ended up with a bowl that would have been classified as a ‘medium’ at other phở restaurants. Like me, he enjoyed the broth and the thick, juicy strips of beef but thought the noodles were ‘meh.’
Although it certainly wasn’t the best phở restaurant we’ve both been to, we were nevertheless satisfied with our meals. We both walked out full (well, not Marty – he grabbed a banh mi for the ride home) and happy, having ticked off another phở restaurant on our long list of Victoria Street restaurants to try.