Last night, I was back on Victoria Street and this time, I decided to try 'Thanh Thanh'. A fellow foodie told me that her husband used to frequent this place with his Vietnamese friend as students. His friend had highly praised it and they still continue to come here. So of course, I wanted to pay this establishment a visit.
Arriving just after seven o'clock, there were already throngs of tables full of delicious looking food and hungry diners. Looking around, I noticed that there were students, couples and families. I loved the fact that there were families in here with their young kids, it gave the place a friendly, cosy feel.
Sitting down, a waiter came over to place a vacuum flask of tea and two drinking cups down on the table for us . He also gave us a menu each. Everything is listed in Vietnamese and English, as one would imagine it to be.
My fellow diner and I decided to start with some 'Rice paper rolls with prawn'. At $7, we got four wonderfully rolled rolls! The peanut and carrot dipping sauce had a smooth consistency that wasn't too gloopy nor too thin as to drip like water. They were deliciously fresh and plump.
The main meal consisted of a shared plate of 'Rice with grilled pork chop' ($9) and 'Chinese broccoli with garlic' ($14).
The grilled pork chop with rice was a generous portion, two pork chops on the bone and finely grated cucumber. The pork chop was simply delicious. It had a marriage of flavours - not sure what, but at a guess I'd say fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce and garlic. I know they were whole chops, but I'm not a big fan of sucking meat off the bone and having to cut off fat. Nonetheless, not exactly hardship for a delicious piece of grilled pork.
The chinese broccoli was equally as delicious. Gorgeously green, they were juicy and crunch. The roasted slices of garlic (which looked similar to sliced almonds) were beautifully golden and crisp (unlike the Cantonese style of cooking). Although they were absolutely sublime, neither of us could polish them off and believe me, I tried my very best to. We also left a lot of rice.
A truly filling and tasty dinner. Not exactly a feast, but it really felt like it once we had finished. We were both so full!
You get free tea in a vacuum flask here, there are condiments of chilli sauce, soy sauce alongside a box of toothpicks on each table. The staff were helpful when we were ordering the grilled pork - explaining that shredded pork is in fact the pork skin rather than the meat itself.
A very pleasant experience and another good Vietnamese meal.
296a Victoria Street, Melbourne, VIC 3121
Tel: +61 (0)3 9428 5633