By Korea Richmond

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By Korea on the bustling Victoria St may get overlooked by many passing by but it certainly is a pleasant and enjoyable dining experience. From the outside of By Korea, you might not even know it’s open but don’t fret it is open for Lunch and Dinner. The decor inside is wonderful, fusing the traditional Korean with industrial style.

By Korea offers most of the usual Korean staples such as stone pot soups, Bibimbap, and of course BBQ. Being a fan of the Korean Spicy Seafood Tofu Soup served in Stone Hot Pot with Rice I had to order it here.

The soup here is definitely spicy and I love it, and with the addition of fresh seafood (shrimp, clams) and a generous offering of soft tofu it is a treat to eat. My only concern is the graininess of the clams itself but that didn’t detract too much from the flavour of the soup.

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The Sweet Chilli Fried Chicken is also another tasty delight. Korean food does lean towards being sweet more often than not, and this doesn’t stray too far from the norm. Wonderfully crisp, with added sweetness and topped with a sunny side egg.

IMG_0510The Beef Bulgogi is another winner and very generous with their servings. The Beef is tender and juicy with both sweetness and spiciness, served with sunny side egg, salad and Kimchi.

Impressions

I’m uncertain why By Korea doesn’t have the same popularity as another Korean restaurant only minutes down the road (Seoul Soul), even though I find the food to be better for value and tastier here. Plus, for Lunch you receive tea and a free soft drink as a bonus. I do recommend giving By Korea a try, it definitely shines amongst the plethora of eateries on Victoria St, Richmond.

 

By Korea on Urbanspoon

By Korea

5/240 Victoria St
Richmond VIC 3121

Pho 888 Box Hill

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Pho 888 Box Hill on Station Street, is one of the few Vietnamese restaurants in Box Hill. Primarily serving Pho, it does have a small selection of rice dishes and entrees as well. The restaurant is one of your typical Pho joints that you may find on Victoria Street, Richmond or Springvale, how does it compare? Lets see

I ordered the Beef sausage Pho just to try something a bit different (a bit unusual), the soup base lacks a bit of flavour and I also noticed they do not add coriander as a garnish to their soup. That’s not to say the soup was bland, it definitely has a nice flavour to it but compared with the greats in Melbourne, it is just a bit lacking.

The plentiful of onions they add are very strong in taste, probably too much onions for my liking but some might be preferential to their generosity. The beef sausage falls apart very easily, I’m not sure how it’s made because it’s almost like eating mince meat with a bit of pepper balls as seasoning. Not the best sausage I must admit, I think the beef and chicken would actually taste better together.

Finding good Vietnamese food in Box Hill is a challenge, so my opinion on Pho 888 is that it’s sufficient but if you miss great Vietnamese food from places in Richmond and Springvale, or maybe even Footscray, you may be a bit disappointed.

Pho 888 Box Hill on Urbanspoon

Pho 888 Box Hill

552 Station Street
Box Hill VIC 3128

Jinda Thai

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Jinda Thai just off Victoria Street, and close to North Richmond Station is a fantastic Thai restaurant that has the stamp of approval from my Thai friends. The place has a mix of olden day style but still appears refreshingly modern, directly targeting the youthful demographic.

I was pre-warned that the food portions here are a tad smaller than your other Thai eateries. You can definitely see the difference with Ying Thai only a couple minutes walk away but the food here is definitely tasty and you’ll be wanting to come back here again.

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Jinda Thai’s Pad Thai amazingly tasty. The noodles stir fried well, and has all the ingredients to make a great Pad Thai, plus they add chopped peanuts that give it a warm roasted nutty aroma and flavour. Stir fried with prawns, and chicken it still makes for a very satisfying meal and the chilli hit (not too hot) is a perfect combination. The seemingly very fresh bean sprouts is my arch nemesis as I prefer cooked and not blanched bean sprouts but it actually adds to the dish with it’s crunchy and crispy texture.

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The Rice with stir fried Seafood and Basil is another tasty dish. The basil flavour isn’t too overpowering but it’s gentle fragrance seeps through the entire dish. Aromatic and with basil you really can’t go wrong here.

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My golly Jinda Thai’s Pad Kee Mao is hot. Extreme! Stir fried rice noodles with a few basil leaves and chicken is although the spiciest meal I’ve ever had, still very tasty and leaves you wanting more (and more water). Love the flavour of the Pad Kee Mao, the balance of fish sauce, soy sauce, chili and basil work extremely well together. Ying Thai’s Pad Kee Mao is larger in quantity but also tasty, but here I find the balance of flavours more appetizing but nothing too different to comment more on.

Impressions

Serving size is smaller here and at similar prices to other Thai restaurants and that’s the only con I find. The food is ridiculously tasty and for me, if the food is great, sometimes smaller portions is just a small compromise. Jinda Thai is most definitely worth a visit.

Jinda Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Jinda Thai
1-7 Ferguson St
Abbotsford VIC 3067

Thanh Phong

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 Thanh Phong on Victoria Street is one of the many Vietnamese restaurants in Richmond. It’s one of the more cleaner venues around these parts. They must have renovated maybe in the past couple of years or so. During lunchtime weekdays, I wouldn’t call this place busy but it has a decent following. I wouldn’t say the food here sets it apart from the other Vietnamese eateries in anyway. It serves mostly the same cuisine you’d find elsewhere.

Pictured above, is their Cambodian Dry Noodle Soup (Alt: Hu Tieu Nam Vang), it comes with this crispy pastry which I believe is filled with some sort of vegetable, along with warm seasoned noodles with bean shoots, chicken, celery and fried and spring onions and coriander as their garnishes. It is served with soup with seafood and spring onions and coriander on top. Let’s start with the soup, it’s your very typical Vietnamese soup. Seasoned well, so it is certainly bursting with flavour and the prawn, fish ball and calamari. The seafood is a pleasant surprise and although tough calamari isn’t usually my thing, it complements the noodles well.

The pastry is nice and crunchy, but with enough bite to it (it has some chewiness to it). I really did enjoy the dressing or seasoning they add to the noodles but I can’t really put my finger on what they add to it. Probably a bit of soy,  and it’s has a tongue tingling spiciness to it. It’s a very crunchy dish overall because of the celery, pastry and bean sprouts. Quite a lovely, tasty and fresh dish.

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Impressions

Their Broken Rice with Egg and Pate, is a tad disappointing though. Clumpy wet rice isn’t at all appetising. Although Thanh Phong’s Spicy Beef Noodle Soup is both spicy and delicious. Similar to Pho, but a red tinged colour and wonderfully beefy in taste.

Thanh Phong, probably isn’t for everyone. There are a few dishes you could probably find better places to order like Pho (I Love Pho) but their Cambodian noodles are the best I’ve had on Victoria Street. It is just sifting through their menu to find the gems, like you may do with many other restaurants.

Not my first place I think of when I want Vietnamese but not so far down on my list. I’d say give it a go.

Thanh Phong on Urbanspoon

Thanh Phong

240 Victoria St
Richmond VIC 3121

 

Seoul Soul

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Seoul Soul, can easily be missed by passers-by. It is this extremely tiny restaurant, almost hidden on the always populated Victoria Street, Richmond, near The Hive Shopping Centre. In between The Hive SC entrance and a corner cafe, you’ll find this little gem. Only housing less than 20 people, it is always popular inside and waiting around lunchtime is common.

As you may have guessed from the name, Seoul Soul serve Korean cuisine from their most commonly known dishes such as Bulgogi, but also the more obscure and spicy dishes. Typically, they also do BBQ/grills so it really caters for most.

I’ve previously had the Spicy Tofu bulgogi and that was a delight to eat. It comes with stir fried tofu with a spicy sauce, salad and oddly enough a slice of orange. You’ll find this is common for most of the bulgogi’s served. The spiciness of the sauce is fantastic but isn’t too spicy, just enough to give the always bland tofu some flavour and kick.

The salad is very similar to the Japanese salad dressing you can buy in Asian supermarkets, it has that slightly sesame taste to it. I really do love this dressing so it’s always appetising.

You might be saying, Denny, what is that delicious dish you ordered that is pictured. Well, my friends, this is their Special Stone Pot Bibimbap. It comes super sizzling hot and crackles with delight as it’s served. It’s primarily a vegetarian dish with the bean sprouts, carrots, beans and capsicum. There are a couple of stone pot bibimbaps, prawn and beef. I’m uncertain if there was a stone pot vegie bibimbap but it doesn’t seem out of plausibility.

I ordered the beef, which comes with minced beef and cannot currently be seen as it sits underneath that sunny side up egg. The yolk that oozes out just binds everything together. It is simply a refreshing and satisfying meal.

Impressions 

Seoul Soul is quite a treat if you can get a table. Well presented food but leaning on the pricier side of things but it’s okay here because the  food here is tasty and doesn’t disappoint.

Seoul Soul on Urbanspoon

Seoul Soul
323 Victoria St
Abbotsford VIC 3067

Ying Thai

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Ying Thai is the first location of this popular Thai restaurant. Ying Thai 2 is located in Carlton and is frequently visited by Melbourne Uni students and locals. The Richmond venue doesn’t appear to be as popular around lunch weekdays but it doesn’t indicate quality whatsoever.

The dish pictured above was the Chicken Flat Rice Noodle with Chilli and Basil, otherwise known as Pud Kee Mow. What I liked about this dish was that it was spicy, and a really decent hit of chilli at that. It might be too spicy for some, but it just hits the spot for me.

The Pud Kee Mow, you can choose your protein of choice from Chicken, Beef, Pork or Vegetable, like many of their dishes actually. I’ve never actually had this before but I really did like the flavour, the spiciness, a bit of soy that adds sweetness and a hint of salt and the basil. You can’t forget the fragrant basil.

They add carrots, capsicum, broccoli and cabbage if memory serves me correctly. I liked the abundance of vegetables no matter how oily this stir fried noodles dish may be.  The chicken was on the tougher side, but I wouldn’t call it very overcooked. I think with stir fry it’s very difficult to cook well, so it was acceptable for me.

The Thai Fried Rice is also excellent, and very filling too. So tasty that I even forgot to take a picture. Next time.

Impressions

Ying Thai serves as tasty Thai food. I may not know what authentic Thai food is but I know what my tastebuds say, and they say it’s pretty darn good. If you’re ever near the corner of Hoddle Street and Victoria Street, give it a go. Just may need to be a bit patient, sometimes it takes 10 minutes or more for food to arrive.

Ying Thai on Urbanspoon

Ying Thai (Menu)
235 Victoria St
Abbotsford VIC 3067

iSpicy 2

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iSpicy is a Thai restaurant located on Victoria Street, Richmond. This particular restaurant is called iSpicy 2 because there is another one located on Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn. As the name suggests, it specialises in spicier Thai dishes which I love.  There are quite a few Thai restaurants around Richmond, and in particular, Victoria Street which is great because I really can’t get enough of Thai food.

I ordered the Spicy stir fry crispy chicken with sweet basil, fresh chili and green beans on rice which was marvellously spicy. It packs a lot of heat. It’s definitely not to everyone’s tastes but the crispy chicken was soft and light in texture but also crispy. Really nice.

It was complemented by the spicy beans and chilli. It’s hard to describe the taste, it is mostly spicy but has a bit of salt and sweetness to it so that the chilli isn’t too over powering.

Their other dishes look just as lovely and again lives up to its name of iSpicy. Compared with Ying Thai, I still prefer Ying Thai it has more subtle flavours but definitely more complex and appealing. You’ll find a decent meal here, but probably just not for everyone.

I Spicy 2 on Urbanspoon

iSpicy 2 (Menu)

80 Victoria St
Richmond VIC 3121

Three Bags Full

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 I heard about Three Bags Full from a colleague and since it was near where we worked we decided to give it a try. I’m not big on brunch, it’s basically just breakfast late or lunch early and none of those sounds overly enticing to me. Cafe food on the other hand is something I’m quite fond of, it’s not too expensive nor heavy but just enough to satisfy the stomach.

Three Bags Full is quite a large place, I was really surprised at how large the space was and it was very busy. I guess people in Richmond really like their brunch and coffee.

I ordered one of their specials which was a Beef Burger with tasty cheese, onions, tomatoes, pickles with wedges and tomato relish.

It is similar to the Steak Sandwich on the menu but you get a couple of wedges too. As a burger, I did really enjoy it apart from the pickled red onions. I found these to be too sour for my liking. The beef was cooked just right, still a bit red inside so definitely not overcooked and the cheese lent itself. What I mean by that is, sometimes cheese can be almost tasteless and I find that most with hard cheeses. There is very little fragrance around them, but this had a good cheese taste so I’m happy about that.

I had to eat the burger using a knife and fork (shock and horror) because it was too large to eat by hands. The aioli they dress the salad with gave it a nice mayonnaise like taste to it and overall I couldn’t be happier.

The wedges with the tomato relish was decent enough, I found they weren’t overly crispy but I did prefer them to be a tad more crisp. The tomato relish on the other hand I have no real opinion on, it was slightly sour but I felt lacked the tomato flavour. It was neither here no there.

Impressions

You can see why people come to dine here. For people just wanting to relax, chill and drink a cup of coffee this is the place. However, if you want some satisfying meals, Three Bags Full, luckily does that too.

Three Bags Full on Urbanspoon

Three Bags Full

60 Nicholson St
Abbotsford VIC 3067

Loi Loi (Take-away)

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Loi Loi has become one of my favourite Chinese-Vietnamese eateries on Victoria Street. They serve a wide variety of rice, fried noodle, noodle soup dishes and main meals for dinner even with a mix of Asian inspired dishes that probably isn’t authentic but still offerings something different.

During lunch time, if you eat in or take away as I did this time, they provide complementary sweet corn soup which is a nice starter or finisher to your meal. Service tends to be pretty snappy too even during peak time, but of course, if the food isn’t good why bother? Luckily, the food in general does make you want to go back again.

I ordered the Thai Fried Noodles, and it uses the bee hoon noodles stir fried in a sweet, spicy and salty flavour, coating the noodles just gently. The flavour is a departure to what I usually eat, but nonetheless it is a satisfying dish. With the fish balls, prawns as your main protein, it complements the noodles well. The fried dried onions as a garnish definitely add both texture and a toasty flavour to the dish. You also get the pleasant surprise of chopped peanuts which again just come together so beautifully. I really can’t fault the dish, Loi Loi’s dishes are generous in size, but maybe just one criticism is that its a bit oily. If it tasted this good as a take-away dish, I can’t imagine how much better it would have been fresh from the wok.

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As you would, when you go to a Vietnamese restaurant is to order their Crispy Chicken on Rice. As this was a take-away dish, the chicken wasn’t as crispy, sadly. The chicken was also a tad dry,  but with the sweet chilli sauce, it makes a perfect combination. I usually prefer the Crispy Chicken and Tomato Rice but I don’t think Loi Loi has that as an option. This dish doesn’t meet the high standards of some of the Springvale restaurants but I think it’s a decent offering. Probably much better if it was served hot and crispy.

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As mentioned before, you get a nice Sweet Corn Soup with your meal if you order for lunch. It doesn’t look as appealing here, but it’s tasty and lives up to its name. You probably can find this in many Chinese Food Court eateries, and it’s pretty much the same everywhere. I don’t think you can make a bad Sweet Corn Soup. All in all, nothing too flashy but it’s lovely of Loi Loi to serve this to customers free of charge.

Impressions

Loi Loi doesn’t stray too far away from its Chinese-Vietnamese roots, but still has a few other South-East Asian dishes for added variety. Food is generally above average, and depending on the dish, can be fantastic. Really, if you’re in Richmond, wanting a good meal, Loi Loi is the place to go.

Loi Loi on Urbanspoon

Loi Loi

364 Victoria St
Richmond VIC 3121

Van Mai

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Van Mai is another popular Vietnamese eatery along the bustling Victoria Street, Richmond. In my attempt to seek out and try many of the Vietnamese Restaurants in Richmond, Van Mai on Urbanspoon seemed like a very popular place to try. They have a wide selection of dishes to choose from but of course, I had to choose my favourite Vietnamese dish  (or as close to).

I love Crispy Chicken with Tomato Rice at Walrus (Springvale) and so my adventure to try out a dish that matches or even possibly tops that dish begins. Van Mai doesn’t have Crispy Chicken withTomato Rice but they do have Diced Pepper Beef with Tomato Rice dish.

I absolutely loved the flavour of this dish. The beef was packed full of flavour, it was slightly sweet, nicely marinated and had a pleasant pepper taste that didn’t overwhelm the natural beef flavour.  One little con was that it was a tad too salty but eaten with the fresh lettuce, tomato and cucumber it balanced things out.

I pretty much only order Crispy Chicken with Tomato Rice because of the Tomato Rice. At Walrus it’s a vibrant red colour with stir fried with egg, at Van Mai it’s slightly darker and oilier.  However, the taste is almost identical. Again, my only complaint is that it’s a tad too oily and I was wiping my mouth with a napkin constantly.

Other than the oiliness, the food they serve is delicious. Would definitely come back to try their other dishes.

Van Mai on Urbanspoon

Van Mai

372 Victoria St
Richmond VIC 3121