Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Dinh Son Quan, Footscray by Snooze

Armed with advice from the Footscray Food Blog about the best breakfast in Footscray, Big Fil and I braved 35 degree weather and made our way to Dinh Son Quan for brunch. (Thank you Ms Baklover for the fabulous suggestion, and incidentally for a great food blog.)

I think when you combine the look of the place, the heat of the day and the wafting scent of tropical fruit you can almost find yourself somewhere in south east Asia. It's an interesting looking place, simple cafe type tables and a mix of European landscapes popular in Australia in the 1970s and the Vietnamese/Asian equivalents above our head. While we were looking around and waiting for our food we indulged in a little idle conversation about what banh meant. We see it everywhere in Vietnamese food but neither of us had any idea. It wasn’t until I got home I discovered it could mean either cake as in banh cuon or banh chung, or maybe bread as in banh mi. It seems to mean quite a lot of things really because Big Fil looked into it and it means baked as well.

On to our first banh dish, the banh cuon. This is a complicated dish if you judge by the number of ingredients, because there are plenty. A rice noodle filled with ground pork, minced mushrooms and minced shallots is at the base. It’s then served together with Vietnamese pork sausage, sliced cucumber and bean sprouts, as well as a large bowl of dipping sauce.

This was seriously good. I love the freshness and crunch of Vietnamese food, that's why I keep coming back for me. This version delivered all of that. The rice noodle was a little thicker than perhaps Chinese type noodles and stickier, and everything else was pretty good.

Our next dish was banh xeo, a savoury fried pancake made from rice flour, water and turmeric powder, and stuffed with pork, shrimp, diced green onion and bean sprouts. Our version was eaten by stuffing the pancake and filling into large pieces of lettuce, adding mint and Vietnamese basil and eating it as best we could with our fingers. The banh xeo is also dipped into the same dipping sauce as the banh cuon.

This was my favourite of the two dishes. The pancake had that beautiful fried smell and perfect taste, it was light and crisp and, as usual, I enjoyed the freshness of the ingredients. Something I know I’ll order over and over again.

Given the heat we both ordered a cold drink. Big Fil beat me to the custard apple shake, he described as thick, creamy and sweet. I guess I’ll have to take his word for it! My next choice was the durian shake (but they were all out of durian) and I ended up with the fresh coconut juice. Always refreshing on a hot day, the only downside being some of the coconut meat wasn’t young and soft.

Dinh Son sits on the outside corner of the small Footscray market known as Little Saigon Market. It’s not the market most people think of when they visit Footscray since it’s towards the back and away from the train station. But it’s worth the trek for the food, and for the friendly service.

Food – 8
Service - 8
Ambience – 7
Price - 8

1-17 Nicholson Street
Footscray VIC 3011
Ph: 03 9689 3066

Dinh Son Quan on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Bureaucrat said...

welcome back snooze!! :)

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