Fo0die dined as a guest of Minh Minh Saigon Soul and as such, the rating does not give any consideration to customer service.
Minh minh saigon soul has been opened for 21 years. Located on Victoria Street in Richmond; the street is filled with Vietnamese restaurants. When asked what differentiates the venue from the others, the owner said they offer traditional Vietnamese flavours in their dishes but modernised.
Richmond is one of those areas that we prefer not having to drive to given parking can be very hard to find. Given we had a valid Myki, we drove to a tram stop along route 109 and took a 10 minute tram ride to the venue.
However for those who don’t frequent public transport and prefer to drive, there are 2P ticketed parking available on the street and some parking spots were available when we arrived just before 12:30pm on a Sunday.
As soon as we entered the venue, we noticed the decor was not your ‘typical Vietnamese restaurant’. From the traditional Vietnamese hats hanging off the ceiling to one of the walls filled with black photo frames to another with a piece of wall art.
The menus are already laid out on each table and what we noticed was the box on the top of the menu calling out that vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options are available and free corkage. The menu also states that 90% of the food is MSG free. On the wall near the entrance, there’s a list of dishes that are offered as weekday specials; a dish each day, Monday to Thursday for $12.
Between the two of us, the team recommended that we start with two items from the ‘little things’ section of the menu, a coleslaw to share and a main each.
Our two ‘little things’, was the lalot (recommended by the team there), grilled beef wrapped in a vine leaf which was slightly sweet served with fish sauce and the duck spring roll which came with two pieces and was filled with a peppery duck, capsicum, onion, carrot, bean sprouts filling.
For our two mains, we selected one of their popular dishes, the crazy chicken ribs which we asked to be less spicy and the dish that arrived still gave a good amount of heat (our mouths was burning)! With 10 pieces of ribs, we recommend sharing the dish unless you really want to just eat chicken ribs. Their other popular dishes are east meets west (grilled chicken with chilli, garlic, lemongrass and coleslaw) and sexy chef (crispy beef with veggies and peking sauce).
Our other main was pho (veggie pho to be exact). We could not go to a Vietnamese restaurant and not try their pho. Other than the usual pho, Minh minh saigon soul also offers the less often seen dumpling pho, wonton noodles and a curry laksa pho.
The veggie pho was a good serving size which may at first seem deceiving as the bowl looks small in circumference but is actually a very deep bowl. The pho came with tofu, bok choy, broccoli, two types of mushroom and carrots.
Our shared coleslaw was another recommended dish by the team, lab nua which had tender beef in a red tom yum style sauce and was definitely spicy.
With so many other Vietnamese eateries in the area, we think the venue has designed a menu that differentiates themselves from the traditional Vietnamese restaurant. The menu has a good selection of traditional Vietnamese food but also a more modern take on Vietnamese food/fusion with influences from other Asian cuisines.
Dishes that make up this review
- Lalot; grilled beef in vine leaf ($12 for 7 pieces)
- Sensational special duck spring rolls; duck, bean sprouts, green capsicum, carrots, onion and home-made fish sauce ($8 for 2 pieces)
- Crazy chicken ribs with tom yum sauce with fresh coleslaw ($18)
- Veggie pho ($12)
- Lab nua (lao coleslaw); grilled beef mixed in lime juice, mint, shallot and hot chilli ($16)