Off the Ring Road
As some of you might know, I don’t mind dropping by the western suburbs because it is easily connected to the north by the Western Ring Road. Unlike the Eastern suburbs, where you’ll notice I don’t frequent as much.
The west is home to a lot of good Asian food so I gave these places below a try.
We first tried Lasang Pinoy’s halo halo (Filipino shaved ice dessert) at the Philippine Fiesta and made a note to give this lovely lady’s restaurant in St Albans a try.
Unfortunately something that is common with Filipino eateries in Melbourne is that they are similar to a cafeteria, serving food out of a bain-marie and what is available just depends on what they cooked that day.
It’s useful that The Adventouriist is Filipino, because sometimes it’s hard to engage and get service without the ability to speak Tagalog. It would also be hard to know what to order without any menu and just by looking at the food.
We tried a variety of things from soup to BBQ skewers. Most of it was so-so and the skewers still did not beat the ones that we get from our local Filipino grocery.
The Adventouriist did get excited they had her favourite cake – Brazo de Mercedes though!
Meanwhile I was excited about the halo halo, which was huge!
I’d say drop by for a bite or dessert but maybe not a whole meal. Also it’s handy if you bring along a Filo friend!
Lasang Pinoy is located at 22 East Esplanade, St Albans. Call beforehand to make sure they’re open – Filo places close unexpectedly here and there.
Jasmine’s Cafe and Restaurant
Located in Deer Park, this is a newer Filipino restaurant amongst a strip of takeaway shops.
This already indicated it might be similar to Lasang Pinoy. Whilst booking they asked if there was anything specific we wanted to eat so they could ensure there was some available. Confusing for a non-Filipino person.
I ended booking the Ihaw Ihaw platter for $26 per head, as this is what I had seen on Instagram that made me want to go. This includes soup, drinks, a BBQ seafood and meat platter and dessert. Quite good value as we didn’t finish the whole platter (nearly!).
The soup was tasty, not unlike a chicken and sweet corn soup. Meanwhile the platter had some classics such as BBQ pork skewers and longanisa (Filipino sausage). I love the smoky BBQ tasty from the longanisa, but once again the skewers did not beat Mill Park’s.
The drink served to us was gulaman as expected, quite like a sugary grass jelly drink.
The halo halo not as good as Lasang Pinoy, but the entire meal provided good value. Thanks also to the restaurant for staying open a bit later for us to finish our meal.
Jasmine’s Cafe is located at Shop 2 / 85 Mt. Derimmut Road, Deer Park. Call beforehand to book the Ihaw Ihaw meal.
I can only hope that one day someone opens a proper casual-dining Filipino restaurant, with less tacky decorations, no bain-marie or takeaway and a sole focus on good service, food and atmosphere. One day!
Recommended to us by the lovely Gastronomical Ramblings, we decided to leave our comfort zone of Song Huong across the road (known for it’s Bun Bo Hue) and went to try Quang Vinh. It’s similarly as busy as Song Huong, with a second shop and back room to make space for its clientele.
We ended up going with a banquet for four at about 60+ per person. At proper, fine-dining places in Melbourne, sometimes you wonder if even that much will fill you up.
But trust me – you’ll have absolutely no problem with that here. It comes with goi (Vietnamese chicken salad), canh chua (sour soup with fish), crab noodles, a whole fish and fried rice. I also got a classic avocado smoothie to wash this all down!
Now the winner here was the canh chua. You actually don’t see this on the menu at many Vietnamese restaurants. It’s quite expensive at Quang Vinh because it depends on what fish they use on the day. I like the soup with a lot of tomato and this fit the criteria.
It’s also massive! We ordered this on a second occasion without a banquet and it was still this big (but quite expensive). I’d say have a minimum of four people to eat it!
Quang Vinh Restaurant is located at 66 Alfrieda St, St Albans.