Mopho Canteen South Yarra
In East St Kilda people walk down Carlisle Street sipping out of fresh coconuts from Vietnamese diner Mopho Canteen. The restaurant, which opened in 2015, has a loyal following for its $14 bowls of pho and tasty banh mi.
This newer South Yarra location is more spacious than its sibling, meaning more of the same central Vietnamese-inspired food and drinks that keep the Balaclava spot jam-packed most nights of the week. The menu is the same in both locations, apart from three new items in South Yarra: barbequed jumbo prawns, a pork-belly salad and a lamb and coconut curry.
Mopho Canteen’s pho – its specialty – is sweet, dark and rich, thanks to a generous amount of bone marrow used to cook the broth. There are five kinds including pho bo tai (rare beef) and a vegan, vegetable-heavy pho chay.
The menu also includes beef-brisket banh mi, pork spring rolls with nuoc cham and fresh herbs, and salads such as a seared-tuna option with green papaya and lime dressing.
A tight drinks list includes mostly Victorian wines, a beer each from Vietnam (Bia Ha Noi), Japan (Asahi) and Geelong (Furphy) and a small number of cocktails, with some for $10 between 5pm and 7pm.
The narrow space has a contemporary tropical vibe; with blond-wood furniture, pops of pastel on the walls, and indoor plants. There’s an outdoor courtyard with a retractable roof, so you needn’t wait for warmer nights to settle in here with one of the fruity cocktails.