MSG: The Melbourne Social Guide

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Minh Xuong

with 10 comments

Minh Xuong

209-211 Russell Street, Melbourne CBD
(03) 9663 2895
Mon-Sun 11:00am-2:30am

urbanspoon

Minh Xuong on Urbanspoon

(Alex: This may or may not be related to the Minh Xuong on Victoria Street in Richmond, not confirmed.)

The latest addition to the cheap Asian restaurant/cafes in Chinatown is Minh Xuong, occupying the space vacated by King of Kings (Alex – oh King of Kings, I will miss you… somehow).  Located on Russell Street, between Little Bourke and Lonsdale, Minh Xuong opened around Chinese New Year this year, and has been doing fairly steady trade since.

We visited the place late on Chinese New Year’s day after my insistence that I had to eat Chinese food on Chinese New Year or I wasn’t a good little Chinese girl, especially after being rejected by the North East China Family the night before (Alex – to be fair, we did interrupt their reunion dinner). We were drawn to Minh Xuong, tempted by the glistening skins of the roast meats which were hanging in the windows.

On the menu are a variety noodle and rice dishes, stir fries, congees, claypots, Chinese ‘snacks’, soups, and of course, the Roast Meats.

We are pointed towards the Roast meats by the friendly Chinese waitress; MS went for the roast duck

roast duck

Roast duck

which was pretty decent considering we were dining at midnight on a Sunday night. The skin was nicely crisp, the meat pretty tender, with a thin, but not excessive layer of fat separating the two. The sauce was decent, not the best in Melbourne, but certainly very tasty.

MS wouldn’t let me order the char kuay teow because apparently only Malaysians are allowed to make this dish (Alex – I’m just sayin, I don’t trust HK/Canto places with CKT!) , so I went for the mapo tofu (stir fried tofu with preserved vegetables in a chili bean sauce with pork mince)

mapo tofu

As you can see from the above picture; deliiiicious!! I looooooove mapo tofu and have been surprised how difficult it is to find a decent mapo in the Melbourne CBD. Delicious, silky and relatively large pillows of tofu were cooked with pork in a tasty spicy sauce. I was impressed that slices of pork were used, rather than just cheap mince. It had a nice fiery kick to it. I love my spicy food and did not even have to add any chili to it as it had the perfect heat. I finished this dish despite the size, yet I could have gone more because it was so tasty!

Jess’ Ratings:

Taste: 8/10. The duck was ok, but I loooved the mapo tofu. I do love that dish, so I may seem biased, but this is definately one of the better mapo’s I have.

Authenticity: 8.5/10. I’m Chinese and I think this is pretty Chinese.

Value: 8/10. I can’t remember how much each dish was, but the overall bill came to less than $20. Great value. dishes well sized and well priced. Quality, reasonably fresh ingredients.

Service: 8/10. Our waitress wasn’t overly knowledgable in the menu (or the English language) but she was super friendly. Service with a smile in Asian restaurants is rare, so the smile earns Minh Xuong bonus points :).

Ambience: 7/10. It is what it is. A cheap Asian cafe/restaurant, but is still clean and comfortable.

Overall: 8/10. This may seem high for the sort of place this is, but remember, this place can serve me a decent feed til 2:30am at this price. Service is much better than most Asian joints we go to (at least friendlier) and it’s clean!

The best news is that this place is open 7 days, and does late night trade nightly until 2:30am. I’ll never go hungry again.

Alex’s Ratings:

Taste: 7/10. I’ve been dishing out a lot of 7s lately.

Authenticity: 9/10. Couldn’t fault what we ate in terms of authenticity to the HK/Canto roast meats tradition and Mapo Tofu.

Value: 8/10.

Service: 8/10. I agree with Jess, the waitress put in the effort and was very pleasant, not something one is used to in Chinese restaurants.

Ambience: 8/10. I judge it on being clean (at time of writing) and not too noisy.

Overall: 7/10. As I say, a lot of 7s.

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10 Responses

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  1. I’m excited to hear one of my favourite Victoria St stalwarts (I still maintain against vocal opposiion from my friend Debbie that Minh Xuong’s duck is better than Pacific House’s) now has a CBD outlet. Very convenient, and dangerously close to my gym! C’est la vie…

    Billy

    March 5, 2010 at 1:31 pm

  2. Ah I haven’t tried the Victoria St iteration but I can tell you Minh Xuong blows (the very disappointing) Pacific House Lonsdale St away on roast duck. We shall have to go try the original and make the comparison. Incidentally, we’re thinking about doing some “Melbourne’s best of” series comparing various dishes & things at the top restaurants and declaring a winner. Roast duck might be a good one 🙂

    alexlobov

    March 5, 2010 at 1:41 pm

  3. Oh! Must check this out soon…I will definitely be up for roast duck

    penny aka jeroxie

    March 6, 2010 at 11:30 pm

  4. I’d been wondering about this resto (I got to Nam Loong next door for the steamed buns) so thanks for the review. Will definitely try it out. Although I believe the most authentic ma po tofu in Melbourne is dished out by Dainty Sichuan in South Yarra.

    Jetsetting Joyce

  5. Joyce – Haven’t tried Dainty in its newest iteration. I used to love the place to bits when it was in Corrs Lane though. I need to stop being lazy and make the trip down to Toorak Road to eat their mapo tofu among other things. But yes. Minh Xuong Roast Duck = WIN. 🙂

    alexlobov

    March 8, 2010 at 3:31 am

  6. Hahaha you’re less lazy than me! I haven’t been to Dainty Sichuan since the Smith St iteration. Shall we plan an outing soon? I have posse who are always up for sichuan *looks at penny*

    Billy

    March 9, 2010 at 9:56 am

  7. Well when it landed in Corrs Lane it replaced one of my favourite cheap dumplings places, DC Noodle House, so I had no choice but to try it out.

    But I think a trip to South Yarra is an excellent idea. 🙂

    alexlobov

    March 9, 2010 at 12:05 pm

  8. I went to Minh Xuong on Russel st and ordered the Mongolian beef with Chinese vegetables and rice,I must say it was one of the best dishes I have ever had!!!Tender meat and sweet sauce. My party also enjoyed their meals ordering Steak with orange sauce. I am going back to this place again for sure! it’s a winner.

    Feathers

    April 10, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    • Hey Feathers, great to hear you loved it too!

      alexlobov

      April 12, 2010 at 1:52 am

  9. […] – Minh Xuong – Urbanspoon – Minh Xuong – The Melbourne Social Guide – Written by glutamatejess, March 5, 2010 at 12:… – Minh Xuong – Australian DIning Out Reviews Image by […]


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