As the Boyfriend live in the Eastern suburbs and I right in the heart of the Melbourne CBD, we don't travel to the Western suburb much. But now that one of our buddies have moved to live in Footscray, it is only fair that we take turns to visit each other.
I had suggested Reading Room Cafe and was all excited, only to find that their weekend menu wasn't available last Sunday as Victoria University (where the cafe is located within) held their Open day in the forecourt of the cafe. :(
I had to come up with an alternative and did a quick check on Urbanspoon where Tan Thanh Loi came up with 100%. It was located around the corner from Little Saigon market which was a bonus as I wanted to shop for groceries after.
We scanned the menu and with pictures available for each item, it made it much easier for us to decide on what to have.
The brother and I had the much raved about Grilled Pork with broken rice which smelt absolutely divine when served. I had pretty high expectations as the reviews on Urbanspoon were really good.
With a tummy grumbling with hunger, thankfully it did live up to its hype - the tender meat was nicely grilled and was bursting with flavours, most notably, lemongrass. Although I have to add that it did smell better than it tasted.
The broken rice was also fragrant, and the mix of sweet and sour fish sauce that was served alongside the dish did compliment everything well. And of course, a bowl of clear chicken broth which I couldn't fault.
The boyfriend wanted something soupy and was contemplating between the Pho (i.e. Vietnamese rice noodles) and the steamed duck on noodles (which I thought would have been a better choice).
I am not usually a big fan of pho, but hey this broth is really pretty good and tasty. The boyfriend did seem to really enjoy his meal and managed to finish off his pho in no time.
Steve had the fried rice which he reported to be "yeah, pretty good". I mean it's fried rice after all, can't really go too wrong. Similar to the other dishes, the portion is really generously huge and could feed me for two meals.
And the white ice coffee, not sure if it was authentic Viet coffee, but I wasn't really that concerned... it was lovely. Except maybe next time, I'd ask them to reduce the amount of ice so I can get more coffee.
Overall, I think we all did enjoy our quick lunch. For $10-12 each meal, I'd say Tan Thanh Loi is good value for money with such massive servings.