Phone: 02 6162 1988
Located on one of the main restaurant strips in Canberra, Tien in Dickson was pretty impressive. Especially since I had lowered all expectations of what Canberra's version of Vietnamese food would be.
For entrée, we ordered a fried marinated quail to share:
The quail impressed! The skin was beautifully crispy and had the wonderful aromas of wok-fire and lemongrass. The meat was sweet, juicy and succulent. The quail had been marinated very well, and with the spice mix and a squeeze of lemon, there was an amazing combination of sweet, salt and tang.
Onto the main, a traditional Vietnamese com tam bi suon cha:
(broken rice with grilled pork, fried egg, steamed pork and shredded pork)
The presentation of this dish was probably one of the prettiest I have ever seen this dish presented. As for the food, it was pretty average - the same as one would expect to get in Springvale, Footscray or Richmond. The pork had a nice smoky grilled flavour to it, and the egg was done perfectly. The steamed pork was a little bland and had an odd texture - generally it is quite smooth, but this erred on the the lumpy side. The fish sauce definitely had a nice punch to it.
The bonus was the broth, which I had thought perhaps they would omit up here in Canberra, but after the main dish arrived, they brought it out. Oversalted, but I had definitely missed the flavour of the spring onions and fried shallots.
Pricewise, it was expensive for Melbourne standards, but quite average for Canberra standards. The serving sizes were generous, but dishes that would cost $7-$8 in Melbourne, were in the $12-$14 range.
Overall Impression: 7.5/10