Melbourne's Best Pho? - Pho Dzung Tan Dinh @ Monday, October 24, 2016
Thursday 13th October
Pho Dzung has pictured a very cursive/squiggly font and it takes googling 'richmond pho' to get the name of the place. After our last experience with asian food (fly's leg in the food) we were iffy, but we're ready to give it another shot!
A big clean looking interior with mirrors that ran the length of both walls, the set up reminded me of another Vietnamese eatery we'd been to in Springvale.
An easy to read menu complete with pictures! The menu was laminated and reasonable clean, displayed in an easy to read way complete with pictures. It featured rice noodles (pho/udon noodles) and egg noodles (stir fry/wonton noodles).
Would you like to start with spring rolls or rice paper rolls?
This is the first place I've ever been to that suggested an entree instead of drinks, though this happened as we were handed the drinks menu.
Noodles came in three sizes, with the bowls displayed on the wall like all/most pizza places. Does small and medium look the same to you?
That classic bowl shaped menu on the wall, does anyone actually read them up there?
Four Colour Drink $3.50
Mung bean, red kidney bean, agar jelly, coconut milk
I've seen this drink in the window of many asian places, premade, all they do to serve is add coconut milk and mix it up. I've also seen all the ingredients sold in a DIY kit which I'm keen on trying next time I'm in town.
It was refreshing creamy but light with lots of texture. I love all things coconut! The red kidney bean was a bit on a contrast to the drink, an interesting one, for while it was moist it was dry on the inside in a starchy way.
We both ordered the medium priced at $10, I had the rare beef while he had the braised beef, though really wanted bone marrow, which they didn't have (he's a bone broth fan).
Served with a side of fresh thai basil, lemon wedges, bean sprouts. There was chili oil and hoi sin sauce as usual. The story of jas being discriminated against is a classic when we have pho, though lab partner was indifferent, growing up in an asian town where discrimination was common for the minority.
When it comes to pho we assess a couple things including quantity, quality and most importantly the flavours of the broth and backbone of the dish itself. This one was perfect! Not an msg laden broth, but one with the perfect balance of flavours especially with a squeeze of (half) a lemon. There was a generous amount of beef, all very thinly cut minimal fat (preferred).
How do I eat it? A bit at a time, moving it into a small bowl to cool faster. Spaghetti twirl some noodle onto a spoon, then top off with beef dipped in hoi sin sauce (use the sauce plate).
It was the best pho I've had in ages, and luckily for us there's another branch in the city!
Service was prompt, with the exception of the drink which arrived half way through the meal. I also didn't like how the waiter was dressed, in sandals and causally, that he appeared at home.
We'll be back for the same two things I ordered! We're surprised they weren't more busy on a Thursday night been very close to the city, though we did have an early dinner. I'd imagine on Friday/Saturday they'd be very busy!
Tip - Don't order the coconut juice (not water, juice + sugar) as you can get it for around $1.20-1.80 half frozen from the asian shops around, the groceries. Also note that it's a lot sweeter and more artificial than our coconut water, but I love them both!
Where's your go to place for pho?
Everyone Hates the White Queen @ Saturday, October 22, 2016
Paranoia steamed from possibly guilt and jealous runs with the Neville girls. Everyone hates the queen for having such a large family (she had 12 children, her mother 14). Also because the king favors her instead of following the king maker, his cousins' plans for him.
Anne the younger Neville who outlives her sister tells the story from the third point of view, her own. The first was Elizabeth Woodville (the white queen, of york), the second Margaret Beauford (the red queen, house of Lancaster, Henry Tudors' mother) and third Anne Neville. Three key plays in the game of war.
Anne unlike Marg isn't religious aside from going to chapel often (as required). As a child she follows the footsteps of her sister and mother, always in fear of stepping on their train. Though she ultimately becomes queen and becomes more paranoid as the story goes with sister Isabel's influence and major paranoia.
Anne hates the queen and rightly so, for she sees that the queen has good fortunes against the natural order of things (commoner marries king) also the family is pretty.
But it isn't as petty as in Margs head, it's fully explained why.
She is a survivor, switching sides in battle, being on the losing side, father killed, mother abandoning her and seeking refuge. But unlike most people at court or in high status, she gets lucky and marries her childhood friend Richard the Third for love. There's a couple nice scenes with them, mainly the proposal.
Who killed the princes in the tower? Marg and Anne wanted then dead, Anne hinted this to the Constable of the Tower aka head warden Robert Brackenbury, and he made it happen. Richard got the blame but never intended to kill them, only to take their crown by declaring they're barstards as their father, Edward was already married to someone else before Elizabeth Woodville.
After the death of their own son and only child, Anne and Richard become distant-er and Anne goes into depression not giving a damn. Richard isn't into his niece but pretends to be to lower her value as a bargain tool with Henry Tudor (she however does have a thing for him, so perhaps he lied to the wife). By dressing her as his mistress in the same fine silks as his wife Anne. Who's too depressed to care, a huge development/underdevelopment from the girl who loved her furs.
At 28 she has lived and is tired. Ready to die for she has nothing, but wealth. Anne is barren and with that she doubts whether her husband is playing a game or is actually courting his niece. But doesn't really care. Her only child is dead.
I liked that Anne knew she was dying so tied up loose ends, asked for answers to questions she had for some time though not dared to ask.
A lunar eclipse. 1485 marks Anne's passing. Good timing as she has nothing to live for and is spared from having to endure lose of the only person in her life left, her husband.
In the end the evil queen she always feared, Team Marg Anjou won. Lancaster won. It was all for nothing, but a good time when the children were young before King Edward died.
But Anne understood this and was at peace.
She was outlived by her mother. Though lost her sister, father and son. And her husband a few months after she died.Sounds like she died of a broken heart/depression and peacefully but in truth she died from tb (tuberculosis).
The Three Queens
Marg B lives on, her story goes until the battle where Richard is the last king to die defending his crown in battle. The White Queen works from behind the scenes to support Henry Tudor, as it will make Princess Elizabeth a queen just as her mother was. Though the dowager queen no longer lives at court, and Marg rules through her son.
The Red Queen (Margaret Beaufort), barely interacts with Anne other than a minor act of carrying her train at coronation. While Elizabeth Woodville always looked down upon Anne blaming the Neville for her father's murder by Warwicks hand, Anne often thinks of her in awe and jealousy.
Pho-sure this was a busy week! @ Thursday, October 20, 2016
Monday 10th October
Struggling to adult. Can someone please send me a guide on how to avoid scammers and spammers while applying for jobs? There was a fake info harvesting listing, and they sold my info... Hence I won't be picking up the phone for unknown numbers for a while.
We went dancing. A small class tonight, no morman. We miss morman monday quotes.
9am meetings, followed by a productive session at my desk. No time for a nap today, as we were off to the city to get things done! First up a luncheon. I kinda don't like people, something that I find irritating is: married friends. One cannot go anywhere without the other. Sure if it's a trivial night, no if it's a work event. My +1 decided to invite her +1, now they didn't exclude me or anything, but we did talk about that. And this time my +1 wasn't mother, she brings +5 at least, the whole tribe.
Spoke to jas about that, he said don't invite married people. He is my only not married friends (the gov says no to gay marriage here), but I know he's not saying don't pick them, pick me, like sales people. He's saying just go alone. But I need someone to hold it while I take a picture!
Lunch at Naughty Nuri's.
Motor-Mouth Loves Suck-Face: An Apocalyptic Musical, was the show of the week. A hilarious comedy about the end of the world, an apocalyptic party, and zombies! .
Thoughts? I'm confused about the ending... but other than that I quite liked it and definitely recommend it! Catchy tunes, thoughtful lyrics and hilarious songs, it's a hit!
Wednesday night we made the trip to Port Melbourne to Noom Duck, next to the Spirit on Tasmainia. A windy week meant it was freezing outside and too cold to get an up close shot of the trip.
Inside it was warmer though, with an open bar and evening spent chasing canapes it was also challenging to take pictures. I can't imagine a cocktail wedding going well unless there's tons of food.
In the afternoon we made a trip up to Abbotsford/Richmond to hunt for lamps and heaters. Like a printer in stores the ink/bulb comes separately. And I have no concepts of wattage and all.
Being one of the red goodwills most of the stuff wasn't that cheap as I'd expected. I saw a glass bubble I really liked but it was about 50% retail at $13. Around the nick knacks section we found a few touristy soveiners.
What we bought amounted up to around $15. Candle holders, containers, a tray, bag of ribbons, teacup (with a huge handle), glass jar (hello terrarium!) and rubber duckies. The macaroons (pretty rubbers, no one ever uses) and marble contact are from Kmart.
Victoria St, main street is known for Vietnamese restaurants including bakeries like Nhu Lan, with quick and cheap food. We have been avoiding asian food since our last encounter see this post (link) why. But tonight we took a risk on Pho Dzung.
I love sushi and bentos like others love burgers, though we don't visit Sushi T... enough. One the cheapest sushi joints I know of, at a constant $2 a roll while these days everyone else is charging $2.50-3.50 a roll.
Tip - The Tamagoyaki, sweet omelette is my favourite and considered the dessert sushi! You can also order freshly made ignari (by request only) before 3pm.
Dinner with Freud, but first entrees out east at Fitzroy Social. $1 Happy Hour Tapas, buffalo wings were a bit drier and with less sauce compared to when we had them at Father's Office. The mushroom and pumpkin aranchini rice balls were nice though, though could have used a spicy mayo based sauce to add some zing to it.
Mains at Rice Workshop, fairly average. That salad needs to be dressed.
Met the same girl as last week, you look familiar... but I don't recall where I know you from. My social skills aren't the best. We saw an ice skating show, street latin on ice. It was good though nothing like 'Disney on Ice' which was amazing!
Today we took out the trash, it was absolutely disgusting, I was sweating and needed a shower after that. *shudders* I also sprayed myself in perfume and the trash with air freshener. We took many breaks in the process. Clearly we have never done this before. Why didn't we take the bins out last night? Scary movie, the grudge/ring girl. Heard branches scarping against the window, there are no trees near the window. It was 3am.
Sick again. Post exam stress sick. Yep, that's how stressful taking out the trash was. And we had help, and took breaks. Most people go out and do stuff on weekends, but we prefer weeknights. Obviously we don't work, though I am looking. It's challenging to find a paid job when all the first year jobs are now unpaid internships. Why pay for something you can get for free? The demand for experience is high so you'll get your pick of the lot.
Are you a creative who gets asked for free work often?
From Bali to Melbourne: Naughty Nuri's @ Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Tuesday 11th October
Charlie & co. dined as guests.
Hailing from Ubud, Bail, known for their 'killer ribs and wicked martinis' Naughty Nuri has come to Melbourne! Naughty Nuri's started out as a small warung (hut) in 1995 created by an expat American and Indo couple Brian & Nuri, it has since then has grown into a very well known restaurant; a tourist attraction and where all the Americans go for their ribs while in Bali!
Finally it has come to Melbourne, the first of many ribs & margarita restaurants bars we hope! Opening their first restaurant at Melbourne Central near the movies on Monday, we came dine for lunch on Tuesday!
But first, would a rose by any other name smell as sweet, or be as fun? The story behind the name, Nuri says the name was chosen because she was Nuri and her husband Brian was Naughty.
Nuri has an extensive drinks menu with something for everyone, our favourite section was the 'Indo Specialties' all fun non-alcoholic drinks, like lemonade/cola with sweetened milk, 3 layer coffee/teas (like in Malaysia) and young coconut flesh in orange juice! The mocktails also sound divine! And for milkshake lovers there's even avocado!
Growing up in Malaysia, Alice's an expert on the local cuisine and studied culinary, and is our plus one for today. She decided to bring a plus one of her own, her husband the Mad Hatter (because they need to spend as much time together as possible), he's a nice guy and all, but you can see why I don't have a designated +1 since Boston Boy went home.
Denpasar Raya - Soda Gembria - Seminyak Sunset
Soda Gembria - Rose syrup, sweetened milk, soda water. Being a sugar addict (me not her) Alice recommended this drink for me as it's syrupy sweet, back home (for her, Malaysia). I love sugar, being American I can not get a sugar high. The soda was sweet though not too sweet, just right. It was sort of like a milk drink, and I found it similar to the dessert we'd have later on. Which was a pimped up version of the drink.
Denpasar Raya - Orange, lychee and grenadine. Alice order this and said it was too sweet and thick, lacked soda. Hatter liked it. I didn't it was too sweet, but you have to consider if you're a sugar addict or not. The lack of a soda base was odd though.
Seminyak Sunset - Red sala*, orange, soda, lychee. Sounds like an exciting combo, Hatter's choice was a well balanced drink with sweet and citrus notes. Perfectly refreshing for any sunny day. *The sala fruit is an exotic fruit in Thailand.
The martini comes with the 'Shake Shake Dance'! The perfect surprise for your unsuspecting friend who wanted to go out for quiet pre-dinner drinks. :P
There's booths, fun barrel seats as well as chairs to promote sitting up straight. Where would we like to sit? Anywhere with good lighting, though by night the table by the window would be ideal for a view of city lights.
Where would you like to sit? There's also a bar area out front.
Monster Bakso (Meatball) Soup & Prawn Crackers (Background)
As drinks arrived we were served prawn cracker with a peanut dipping sauce. A fun spicy kick, the cracker had more spices than the sauce. Alice loved it for someone who doesn't like peanuts. If you can convert a dislike you know you've done well.
Then menu is divided up into sections, with the naughty grills being the American-Mex style featuring ribs, and the Balinese menu. There's also salads and plenty of snacks/tapas.
If you like it hot Nuri's is the place to be, with four different sambal hot sauces, with Hijau being the hottest and Sambal Nuri being a crowd pleasing BBQ sauce, that would add life to any of my mains! (I don't cook by the way, I bake).
Crispy Pork Ear - Pig ear marinated with spices, slow cooked
then deep fried until crispy served with lime and sriracha mayo.
Alice's favourite meat is pork, and she can consume any part of it from ear to hock, and so she had to order the pork ears. Well spiced served with a mayo based dip. Deep fried and the perfect beer snack it was nostalgic of her childhood (with Indo maids).
Lemongrass Spiced Calamari - Deep fried fresh calamari tossed with fried lemongrass,
fried garlic, topped with fresh chili and spring onion. Served with Special Seafood Sauce.
An asian twist on the classic calamari, full of flavour. This is next level up calamari, with a chili dip Alice loved (and would add to the other dishes).
SPAM Fries - Deep fried luncheon meat served with sweet chili mayo
For SPAM lovers takes it a level up, as anything deep fried is delicious and a sweet chili mayo dip is our favourite! For those who don't know what SPAM is, it's a canned precooked (pork shoulder) meat first introduced in 1937 and gained popularity worldwide after its use during World War II. An American bomb/hurricane shelter staple. Due to the war and occupations (of the islands in the Pacific) SPAM has become a unique part of the history and effects of U.S. influence in the Pacific.
Ikan bakar jimbaran - Grilled Barramundi fillet marinated in coconut oil,
served with Plecing Kangkung and a choice of 3 sambal sauces.
With plenty of flavours on its own from being marinated in spices the grilled baramundi also came with dipping hot sauces (sambal). It was absolutely delicious and a dish to order again! I paired with the with BBQ sauce sambal, and all that's missing is rice. A winner at the table. Should note it's bigger than it appears in the photo.
Nuri's Bebek Goreng (Half Duck) - Nuri's signature duck simmered in traditional Balinese spice, deep fried until crispy, served with rice, authentic Bertutu sauce, Balinese Lawar and 3 sambal sauces.
A tender duck, not as spicy as back home says Alice, it paled in comparison to the other dishes we sampled, like the barramundi, though can be spiced up with the sambals.
Indonesian Mie Goreng - Stir fried noodles with egg, chicken,
squid, prawn, cabbage, choy sum, onion and carrot.
They forgot to mention it had quite a spicy kick! Too spicy for me *cue coughing fit* though works well with that BBQ sauce sambal I'll drizzling over everything. The noodles on this occasion were a bit soft, and I would have liked to see more egg, slices rather than tiny bits.
Rendang Sapi - Tender slow braised beef with mixed herb and spices, cooked in thick coconut milk, served with coconut rice, Plecing Kangkung (water spinach) and 3 sambal sauces.
Light on spices, the beef itself relies on a flavour boost from the sambal hot sauces, much like a couple of the other mains. That or we're used to everything being much more intensely flavoured. That red sambal there is hot!!
1995 Signature BBQ Pork Ribs (Full) - Nuri's signature marinated pork ribs with Balinese spice, grilled to perfection and served with sambal nuri's sauce. And a side of truffle fries or mixed salad.
Tender ribs, sweet bbq sauce (sambal nuri). This is what brings everyone to Nuri's, sweet and delicious it's all about the sauce, anything would go well with that sauce.
Lunch for Four
Es Campur - A fruit medley dessert of
As it was day two we had a slight variation of this dessert with no avocado and jackfruit. We had the version with: palm sugar, coconut milk, rose syrup, pandan syrup, grass jelly black, green jelly and nata de coco - white beads reminds me of tapioca.
Indeed a medley, it was delicious! A pimped up version of the rose drink I had, I love it! It's everything I want in a dessert, the textures, flavours, coconut milk base soup. It's all under a pile of ice, you'll need to mix it up. Here's Alice doing a demo.
The Hatter has been to Bali himself and says the two can't be compared as the clientele is different, with Bali being a top tourist destination whereas in Melbourne it's for the locals.
With the American influence there's rock in roll music in the background, which I love (I dance rock and roll, latin and ballroom), though it also creates an atmosphere that it's a modern hip trendy restaurant with a similar feel to TGIF next door, to create familiarity, rather than authenticity which you may seek in a Balinese restaurant.
Overall a great lunch with the highlights being the grilled barramundi, the signature bbq pork ribs with that sauce that goes with everything! Oh and of course dessert which I can never say no to. It's light and refreshing!
Have you been to Naught Nuri's? Do you have a go-to sauce for everything?
Hi. I'm Charlie. Capricorn. ISFJ. An Events Planner. An American, San Franciscan in Melbourne.
This is a blog about food, events, desserts, hot chocolate & cupcakes, shopping, and the occasional beauty product review in between. A lifestyle blog by an American in Melbourne.
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