Crispy roast pork bánh mì at Phước Thành – $5
Bánh mì joints are ubiquitous in Richmond and the price of them along Victoria Street proves competition will always benefit your wallet (most bánh mì here are around the $4.50–$5 mark). Though there are probably punters out there who swear by Nhu Lan, Lee Lee or Saigon Bakery, our pick is Phước Thành Hot Bread. The rolls have the perfect ratio of crunchy exterior to soft interior and the high turnover means there’s a constant replenishment of fillings. At this price you could convince yourself to eat two.
206 Victoria Street, Richmond
Mon to Sun 5.30am–6pm
Beef combination at Phở Hùng Vương 2 – $10 (small)
It’s not an authentic Vietnamese dining experience unless an older member of staff is picking mint and coriander, or rolling spring rolls at one of the dining tables. The broth for the phở at Phở Hùng Vương 2 is sweet, clean and has a lovely hint of aniseed. The beef combination features sliced rare beef, brisket, beef balls, pepper sausage, tendon and tripe. Aficionados grab a baguette from a nearby bakery to mop up the soup. It’s open from 8.30am for breakphởst.
150 Victoria Street, Richmond
Mon to Sun 8.30am–9pm
Slow-cooked-lamb roll at Little Berties (in Berties Free-Range Butcher) – $10
Slow-cooked, melt-in-your-mouth lamb emerges from the hot-smoker at the rear of the shop, gets pulled apart and waits in a bain marie for the lunchtime crowd. Sandwiched in a decent roll and paired with coleslaw, dinner will probably be the last thing on your mind once you’ve finished, but it’ll be right there in front of you at this gourmet butcher if you need it.
218 Swan Street, Richmond
Mon to Fri 8am–7pm
Plain congee with gluten stick at Pacific BBQ Seafood House – $10
For the uninitiated, congee is an Asian rice soup for which the rice is boiled to oblivion. It’s what Chinese parents give their children when they’re sick. The Hong Kong-style congee here at Pacific Seafood B.B.Q. House has a hint of ginger and a few scatterings of spring onion. Add white pepper and soy sauce to taste, then pair it with what the restaurant calls a “gluten stick”, or what others might know as Chinese doughnut, or Chinese crullers. They are equal parts crunchy and soft, with just enough oiliness to offset the clean, health-giving properties of the congee.
8/240 Victoria Street, Richmond
Mon to Sun 11am–10.30pm
1090 Burger at 1090 Burger – $9
1090 Burger cut its teeth as a food truck on the mean streets of Northcote and proved such a hit it opened a permanent shop last year. The 1090 Burger is a grass-fed Black Angus beef patty with cheese, mayo, ketchup, pickles, lettuce, tomato, red onion and mustard in a toasted bun. The team here gets a little creative: salted-caramel bacon, and mac‘n’cheese croquettes have also been know to round out a burger. You can wash it down with a beer or, if you can stomach it, a salted-caramel, chocolate-peanut-butter milkshake.
181A Swan Street, Richmond
Tue to Sat 11am–9pm
Bún bò huế (traditional chilli beef soup) special at Co Do – $10 (small)
Chilli heads flock to Co Do for its bún bò huế, an intense potion made from beef bones, lemongrass, shrimp paste and chilli oil. Ask for the BBH Special and it’ll come with sliced beef, pork, beef loaf, pork loaf, pork hock, prawn cake and blood cake. Fresh Vietnamese mint, shredded lettuce, cabbage, bean shoots and lemon add some levity to the dish, but you’ll sweat nevertheless. Probably don’t come here on a first date.
197 Victoria Street, Richmond
Mon to Sun 9am–10pm
Roast duck on rice at Roast Duck Kitchen – $10
Roast duck, crackling pork belly and char siu hang in the window, beckoning you in. When you enter you may need to take evasive action from the meat juices spurting from the chopping block near the front door. Duck is chopped to order and served on a bed of steamed rice with a side of bok choy. For an extra buck or two you can get a sample of two or three meats, but better yet, bring friends and pick off each others’ plates.
154 Victoria Street, Richmond
Mon to Sun 10.30am–9.30pm