Tan Dinh (or Pho Dzung Tan Dinh)
234b Russell Street, Melbourne (just down from the corner at Lonsdale)
Ph: (03) 9663 8885
Gooooooooooooooooooooooooood Morning Vietnaaaaam!
Well, it wasn't Vietnam; it was Vietnamese food on Russell Street in Melbourne. And it wasn't exactly morning; it was lunchtime. So really that introduction was kind of pointless but… anyway, back on track. Yes, Madam TR has struck again, and shown me yet another gastronomic haven that's been right under my nose for the past 18 months. Despite how infrequently I walk down Russell Street I still couldn't believe that I'd never noticed this place… but it doesn't exactly proclaim its existence with ostentatious flair. Actually, today was the second day we've been there, I've just been slack about blogging it.
The combination of aromas floating on the air as you enter this unassuming establishment gives little indication of the foody delights you're about to experience. Get there early because once the "standard" lunch hour starts you'll be lucky to get a table.
The décor at Pho Dzung Tan Dinh is, well, "quaint" (according to the second definition at Dictionary.com). The walls have brightly coloured pictures showing the meals, and the tatty menu has some plenty too. By the time we'd ordered the place had started filling up.
On this visit I chose the dish I had last time, as I simply had to find out if its superlative flavours previously had been a stroke of chance: lemongrass grilled chicken on vermicelli. It came out in a bowl that mimicked a small bucket, and was heaped high with carrot, cucumber, cabbage and diced chicken pieces on top of a layer of vermicelli noodles, with fresh bean sprout thingies supporting the lot at the bottom. A little bowl of sweet chilli-type dressing came with it (not a lot of spice to it), which promptly got poured all over. I'm afraid I don't have other's gifts of eloquence: all I can say is that it was goooooooood. There was no easy way to eat the meal: all I could do was dig in. And dig in I did - with gusto.
But I still need to go back and check out more of the menu.
And what about a picture of my meal? Well, I'm afraid this is all there is:
When it arrived it looked and smelt so good I just had to dive right in! This was all that was left!