Skip to main content

Vinh Ky

* Victoria Street restaurant appraisal number two! *

My friend had claimed Vinh Ky (114 Victoria Street, Richmond) to be his favourite restaurant along the Victoria Street strip - a claim well worth investigation, naturally. It serves Vietnamese and Chinese food - combining Asian cuisines seems to be a Melbourne phenomenon that I'm rather dubious about, after growing up in Sydney with all its excellent single-Asian-cuisine restaurants. But, if they do it well, I am happy to be converted.

Still hungover from New Year's Eve, we trotted into the sparse and well air-conditioned restaurant and were quickly seated. The staff weren't the most cheery, but usually seemed to be floating around when we needed someone.

Our entrees were Chinese sausage (one of my faves; it was done pretty well here) and spring rolls that you wrap up in lettuce leaves (new to me, but fun, and tasty!).

Chinese sausage

Dipping sauce

Spring rolls in lettuce leaves

Waiting for our food, we entertained ourselves by watching our teacups floating around on the table. The tables are magic! No, really! The cups kind of slide around magically by themselves - no human interference required! Ahem. Anyways.

My friend was all for the mango beef as a main, but -- alas! They'd run out. (How a restaurant can run out of mangoes in summer in Australia - especially one across the road from Woolworths - is beyond me.) So we settled for second best: beef with plum sauce. I'd kinda hoped for a purple-coloured sauce, but apparently that's not what plum sauce looks like. Nevertheless, it was pretty good, and a nice contrast to the fish with ginger and shallots dish that we also got:

Beef with plum sauce

Fish with ginger and shallots

The table behind us ordered deep-fried ice-cream for dessert, so naturally that suddenly looked very appealing. They bring it out with a sugar cube on top that has been lit, so a little flame is dancing on top of the deep-fried blob. I imagine it would be a hot-and-cold-sensory experience, but couldn't tell you for sure, because... they'd also run out of that! Sad face. The table behind us had gotten the last serves. Stupid kids. (Kidding.)

The man was nice about it, and offered to bring regular ice-cream, but we declined, because, frankly, regular ice-cream sounds like poo after you've seen a dancing flame of deep-fried goodness pass you by. So we went to The Vic for a Frangelico and lime instead. Always a winner.

I liked Vinh Ky, but was disappointed by the missing awesome foods! Then again, on New Year's Day I suppose most restaurants would have a hard time knowing how many people to cater for. It could be their busiest day ever, or completely dead. So I won't hold it against Vinh Ky, and I will (attempt to) go back for the beef mango, deep-fried ice-cream, and more cup-slidey action another time.

Vinh Ky on Urbanspoon

Popular posts from this blog

Spice Temple

Spice Temple  Neil Perry's Fine Dining Chinese Restaurant at Crown, Southbank, Melbourne
It's considered an institution in Melbourne, and with a chef to its name like Neil Perry, a location like Southbank, and an existence of six years in the Melbourne restaurant scene (when staying power is notoriously elusive), it's no wonder. Spice Temple's name is a pretty accurate description of the restaurant: food heavy in spices and spiciness; a dim space with a sort of hushed reverence.

The quiet tone of Spice Temple (Shop 7, Crown Complex, 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank) could well be due to its design. With lots of dark wood and more traditional red and gold carpet, one might be forgiven for thinking it's a little dated. What keeps it current is the symmetrical and perpendicular fittings, creating neat squared-off eating nooks, and the dark, felt-like soundproofing material spaced out overhead, muffling any white noise.

Walking into the restaurant's reception area, yo…

Mr. Miyagi

It's the place that was made infamous by the 'chopsticks incident' last December, where a young Richmond Tigers AFL player drunkenly threatened to attack a woman dining nearby with his chopsticks. But of course, Mr. Miyagi had already developed a cult following well before that.

Opening in October 2013 on the ever-so-hip Windsor portion of Chapel Street, and tickling nostalgic fancies with its reference to 1984 classic The Karate Kid, the restaurant has enjoyed a steady stream of customers since. I remember stopping by with a friend one Thursday night mid last year to enquire about a table, and we were told it would be a two-hour wait. Well! Either this place is really good, I thought, or really good at hype.

I made a calculated plan with friends to score a table there on a Friday night recently. I rocked up nice and early, 6:45pm-ish, and put my name down for a table. They advised the wait would be approximately an hour, probably less, noted down my mobile number and enco…

Saint Crispin

When Smith Street had just become a local area for me, I used to walk past Cavallero and think about how I 'must try that place soon'. But as everyone knows, Smith Street (and surrounds) is not short of venues, and I must have been busy checking out all the others first, because before I knew it, Cavallero had closed and I had missed my chance. Apparently it had been struggling. Who then, would dare to take on the site, and what would they make of it? Smith Street is a prime location, but it's also full of competition. This would have to be good.

Enter Scott Pickett (Estelle Bistro) and Joe Grbac (The Press Club). Two chefs who used to work together at London's fancy-pants The Square (which boasts not one, but two Michelin stars), they joined forces to open a brand new venue as both business partners and co-head chefs. The result: Saint Crispin (300 Smith Street, Collingwood).

Named for the patron saint of shoemakers, Saint Crispin acknowledges its site's origins a…