Cheap But Not Crappy Cheap Noodles.
My dad doesn't cook. Being a regular of Springvale, he discovered it was more cost-effective to eat out every day at the wide selection of super cheap Vietnamese restaurants in the area than buying a trolley full of groceries. So, I always trust his opinion when it comes to the best eateries in Springvale.
Minh Ky is a relatively new addition to the Springvale food family but we noticed every time we've been there, it's packed. It's a teeny little Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant with tables jammed in like sardines- much to my hubby's dismay due to the invasion of his personal bubble by a wall or his neighbour's elbow. The restaurant is complete with an automatic sliding door that doesn't work; people often leave it open behind them as they leave the restaurant resulting in gushes of winter air rushing in. Brrrrr.... Hey, it's an Asian restaurant. There has to be a sense of dodginess to the place! Relax, I'm Asian so I'm allowed to say this! ;)
At Minh Ky, you'll find some of the best rice vermicelli dishes out there. Those unfamiliar with Vietnamese cuisine, rice vermicelli are skinny rice noodles. Of course, rice noodles on its own is boring. Add some meat, veggies and dressing and voila... you have a mouth-watering dish.
My favourite rice vermicelli dish is vermicelli with grilled pork. But this particular day, I decided to lash out and get grilled pork AND spring rolls. Here is how the dish was presented before I trashed it. Looks pretty, eh?
I love how the cooks at Minh Ky are generous with their veggies. Some Vietnamese restaurants only give you just lettuce or bean sprouts, which is such a let-down. Here there's more than three veggies *sounds of attempts to contain excitement * and they even throw in some fried shallots and herbs. And nuts. NUTS!
After I drown the vermicelli with nuoc mam (a fish sauce/chilli/lime etc concoction), it's time for some obligatory mixing up of the ingredients. It looks like a mess now but what do you think? Would you still eat this?
Bon appetit! I woofed it down like there was no tomorrow. I love vermicelli dishes because unlike other noodles dishes, it's fresh and light to eat. I love the grilled pork because it's full of flavours I can't distinguish because I'm not a real foodie. I tasted lemongrass! Ok, that's one flavour....
They also do roast meats Asian-style at the restaurant. You know, the ones hanging in the window. Roast pork isn't usually offered as a rice vermicelli dish but they offer it at Minh Ky, which I tried on a repeat visit. The overall dish wasn't as flavoursome as the grilled pork one but I was in the mood for some fatty pig with crunchy, salty skin.
My hubby's favourite dish was salt and pepper chicken. SALT and PEPPER chicken. I emphasize SALT and PEPPER because the last time we visited, he ordered crispy chicken thinking it was the same dish. It wasn't. Poor guy, he was disappointed. He won't make that mistake again.
Oh I forgot to say, depending on the dish you order, a soup sometimes precedes the main. I'm sorry, the soup usually looks more appertising than the pic below because on this particular day it was full of random chunks of meat. But I promise it usually looks more appertising. And more importantly, despite the gross-looking off-cuts, the broth warmed my tastebuds and tummy. Especially on a cold winter's day and after someone's left the “automatic” sliding door open again. Bbbrrr.....
10G/8 Balmoral Ave
Springvale, VIC 3171