If your mouth salivates over the thought of a steaming-hot bowl of pho, then your love affair with Vietnamese food has already begun.
Although it may be tough to get past the silky rice noodles dressed in a seductive blend of herbs and broth, Vietnamese food is incredibly diverse in its offering. It features some of the most fresh and fragrant dishes in the world, and provides a lighter, often milder alternative to other Asian cuisines.
With a mix of traditional techniques, signature flavour combinations, and a helping of Western influence, Melbournian chefs are constantly inspired to recreate traditional Vietnamese dishes.
To get your hands on the best bowl of traditional pho, as well as the best fusion dishes on offer, you can't go past our top six picks for the best Vietnamese food in Melbourne.
Located on Phillip Island, Asian Kitchen offers a wide range of dishes from Vietnam, alongside Thai, Malay, and Chinese, so there's something to please every set of taste buds. With classic dishes including Vietnamese pho and Vietnamese prawn salad, they also have a long list of their own creations. Thịt heo cốtlết, is our go-to Vietnamese-style dish on their menu; with pork rib-eye steak served on bok-choy and vegetables, and a refreshing lemongrass and lime sauce, it is sure to be the envy of everyone on your table.
If Vietnamese isn't your fancy, Asian Kitchen also has all-you-can-eat Yum Cha every Sunday!
For an incredibly authentic Vietnamese dining experience, book a table at Thuan An. Thuan An pride themselves on only using the freshest of ingredients, sourced both locally and internationally, to recreate authentic flavours while supporting local Australian farmers. Their mouth-watering signature dishes, Crispy Skin Chicken and Goat Curry, are perfect examples of the fusion between Vietnamese flavours and locally-sourced Australian meat. To ward off those winter blues, be sure to order their pho – one of the best you'll try in Melbourne.
For an urban take on Vietnamese cuisine, visit Botherambo in Richmond. Not only has the décor been inspired by the urban jungle that is Richmond, the Vietnamese dishes and cocktails have a distinct Richmond flair to them. Try 'Mother and the Son in Law' which features Thai fried egg, minced chicken, sweet tamarind, herbs, and chilli jam; not your average name and certainly not your average dish!
Load up a bus-full of your friends to enjoy a banquet here. Not only are there so many dishes to try that you'll physically need a dozen people to finish them all, but their cocktail banquet is a must. With seven signature cocktails inspired by Vietnamese ingredients, you'll want to taste them all.
For a truly special dining experience, dine at Coda Bar and Restaurant. Itsaward-winning sommelier is just one of the reasons it has maintained One Hat since 2009. The menu is inspired by Vietnamese and European cuisine, offering exemplary dishes for everyone to enjoy. To wine and dine in style while sampling some of Coda's Vietnamese-style dishes, be sure to book in advance.
For a more relaxed feel, pull up a chair at POW Kitchen in Prince Bandroom; where Southern Asia meets St Kilda's music scene. Its over 20 Asian-inspired dishes incldue Kung Pao chicken, sticky short ribs, and crispy school prawns, plus there are 24 beers from around the globe. Save room for dessert, because you simply can't pass on their Sichuan pepper deep fried ice cream with brown sugar candy caramel.
Immerse yourself in the Southeast Asian culture, while enjoying some of the most exemplary cuisine in Melbourne, at Red Spice Road. With a unique communal dining room, you'll experience a sense of community and family, a valuable part of East-Asian culture. Not only will you sit among strangers, but you'll share food and conversation like a family unit. This is truly the only way to fully experience East Asian food, among new and old friends. Be sure to order the Vietnamese chicken ragout, one of their lunch time specials. It is one of their most popular dishes, and for good reason.
Know someone who loves Vietnamese food?
A Good Food Gift Card is the essential gift for anyone who loves a good Vietnamese meal – your lucky recipient can dine in any of the restaurants listed here.