Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Thanh He

Location: Victoria Street, [near Hoddle Street] Richmond
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Company: Dad and aunties

My dad took my aunties and I out to Richmond for lunch at a place called Thanh He. He had been hanging out to try this ‘seven course beef feast’ for almost a year and finally had an excuse to go. It was awesome, basically beef cooked in seven different ways. From memory they were:
  1. Rare beef with lemon juice: basically really thinly sliced beef with carrots and onions marinated in fish sauce and lemon juice. I still think that this was the best dish of them all.
  2. Beef in betel leaves: minced beef wrapped in leaves that tasted very much like banana leaves
  3. Beef on skewers: well, there was no stick, but it looked like it was only one skewer. Can’t remember if the menu had it as plural or if I had just assumed it was another fobby typo.
  4. Beef quiche: well, that was the English translation; the Chinese version called it a beef ball. Apparently the Viet version was something different yet again. I don’t think any of them could really describe it though. Basically it was a flattened ball of beef mince with peanuts and other stuff, covered with some other leaf.
  5. Vinegar-dipping broth: weirdest name but essentially it was a small steam-boat filled with vinegar and sugar. We were given a plate of raw beef and onions, rice paper rounds, lettuce leaves, cucumbers and dipping sauce, and left to our own devices to cook the beef in the broth and then make rice paper rolls out of it…mmm….
  6. Sizzling beef: the usual sizzling plate, but this time empty and with a plate of raw beef and butter. Basically we were supposed to grill the meat and eat it in whichever way struck us fancy. I ended up making more rice paper rolls.
  7. Beef congee: typical viet style congee with beef… nothing spectacular but good to wash down the meal with

~Atmosphere and Service~
Service was a little gruff, but the focus was all on the food. Will so be going back there one day for more.

Quite cheap. The banquet was $20 per person, but between of the four of us, we ordered a three person meal, and had leftovers. Well worth it.

~Overall Impression: 10/10~
Was very impressed by the variety in the ways the beef was cooked. And very surprised I managed to try all of them, given my pickiness with foods.

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