It was a busy, busy, busy week in Melbourne. But, a good 3 nights, 4 days of art, food and culture in Melbourne – Puccini’s Tosca, Titanic artefacts exhibition, Buddha’s birthday celebration at The Federation Square, Yum-Cha at The Red Emporer, Pho lunch at Mekong and a second time at Hung Vuong 2, Sichuan dinner at Hutong Dumpling House, Chinese dinner at Shark Fin House. Most importantly, the real reason for the trip was to attend my nephew’s graduation ceremony at Monash University, with family visiting from Malaysia.
And, I could not resist taking a photo of this “Chef”. At a price tag of sixty Aussie dollars, that is a bloody cow!
My favourite pho at Hung Vuong 2, Richmond. I ordered a pho combination with thinly sliced raw beef, briskets and beef balls. My partner ordered a vermicelli grilled chicken and we shared a vietnamese fried spring roll.
I had pho again in Melbourne city, at Mekong. There are two serving sizes – small or large. I was on my own. I asked for a small size and another dish of vietnamese fried spring rolls. There was a difference in the quality of the pho dish. Hung Vuong 2’s soup had more flavour with lots of chopped spring onions, coriander and onions, and very fresh vietnamese basil and bean sprout on the side. I believed Mekong was toned down a bit with less garnishes. But, still good within walking distance from our hotel.
The vietnamese fried spring rolls were good at both places, with a slight difference in size. Mekong did their rolls bigger than Hung Vuong 2, which was almost pencil-thin.
Melbourne is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with city Tram and European feel. It is the second largest city in Australia and one day may overtake Sydney as the largest city. In my opinion, it is more interesting than Sydney. Others may disagree. There is always a rivalry between the two cities. I have lived in Sydney for 9 years. So if I have to move back to mainland Australia (from Tasmania) to look for a job, it will be Melbourne. But, hopefully I don’t have to make that choice.
Melbourne’s graffiti art in Union Lane.
Other Melbournian street scapes.
A student union protest outside Flinder Station.
Buddhist worshippers at The Federation Square, bathing baby buddha statues.