Dragon Pho at Dandenong Plaza – Dandenong, Melbourne – a surprisingly decent Vietnamese joint for both lunch and takeaway

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Dandenong Plaza has a bad rap in recent decades. It used to be booming back in its hay day when it hosted Myer, Village Cinemas, JB Hi Fi across the road, Time Zone, and heaps more big brands. It’s now a slimmed down, sadder version of its former self. But it still manages to provide some nice surprises every now and then.

I have frequented Dragon Pho a lot, particularly during the midst of lockdown, since they did some nice Vietnamese dishes like pho, bun bo hue, fried rice noodles and rice dishes. I appreciated the great flavors and the effort that went into their dishes. It was nice that their serving-size tended to be on the larger side.

I really enjoyed their Combination Rice Noodles because it comes with heaps of nice toppings like pork, chicken, prawns, squid and fish cakes, etc in a nice umami gravy.

The dishes are about AUD$15 irrespective of whether you choose rice or noodles. You will have to pay cash, because their eftos machine keeps breaking down.

“Broken” Rice with soup at Dragon Pho

If you decide to dine-in, the restaurant is a cozy one. It feels very down to earth with its non-matching tables and chairs and everything is done by you from collecting your glass of water, your own chopstick and spoon, and sauces.

On one occasion, I sat down and had their Broken Rice dish (it wasn’t broken rice though, just normal rice) which came with the typical deep fried pork chop, meatloaf, pickled vegetables and egg with the sweet fish sauce and a side of soup. It was a satisfying lunch that definitely filled me up that day.

They also serve pre-made lunch and dinner boxes for takeaway. Some are pretty decent.

Dragon Pho is located on level 3 at Dandenong Plaza is located at 49-55 McCrae Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3175, Australia

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