Tien Dat

3 Carrington Rd
Box Hill, VIC
Ming is busy working 9-5 on University placements at the moment, or she was at the time I wrote this, and it wasn’t exactly the best environment for constant blogging. You all know what that means – it is I, Chris, back to take up some of the slack with another blog post.
It’s not terribly uncommon that I find myself the only white person in the restaurant when I’m dining with Ming. After all, in a culture full of McDonalds and burgers and pasta, it’s not surprising that the larger white community might be a little intimidated by other cuisines. I myself was unsure about dumplings when I first tried them only a few years ago. But boy were we surprised to find that at Tien Dat, a Vietnamese restaurant in Box Hill, the tables had in fact turned – Ming was the only Asian customer present in the restaurant for the entire duration of our meal!

Arriving for dinner at 6, the place was relatively quiet, but filled up over the course of the hour. We waited a short while before having our orders taken, but service was otherwise standard: polite but to the point.
Rice Vermicelli with Grilled Lemongrass Pork and Spring Rolls ($13.5)
Rice Vermicelli with Grilled Lemongrass Pork and Spring Rolls ($13.5)
Ming ordered the Rice Vermicelli with Grilled Lemongrass Pork and Spring Rolls ($13.5), which arrived nicely arranged with spring rolls and a sauce bowl sitting atop the noodles. Mixed all together with the meat and veggies, the noodles had a very fresh and clean taste, pleasingly simple – sort of like a salad, except one I’d actually eat. The spring rolls were also a nice simple taste, their meaty filling and the pork forming a good contrast to the crisp noodle-y taste. Overall the dish was very refreshing – something that should suit even the lightest of appetites.
Crispy Maryland Chicken with Tomato Rice ($10.5)
I ordered my usual Vietnamese choice of Crispy Maryland Chicken with Tomato Rice ($10.5). Oddly enough, there was no evidence of any tomato-y-ness in the rice, proving simply to be a mound of plain rice accompanying the chicken with the slices of cucumber and pickled carrot on the side. The chicken was nicely cooked, sufficiently juicy but without the greasiness that comes from frying them, and I’ll always appreciate the lack of bones in chicken like this. Apart from the chicken, there’s really only so much you can say – plain rice is plain rice almost wherever you go, and same goes for the cucumber and carrots. But I’ll admit, as much as I like these dishes, I can’t help taking issue with the amount of plain rice that is always served with them – I always end up having finished my chicken with a good deal of rice left, and no manner of sauce to add some flavour. Perhaps at our next Vietnamese outing I should consider moving onto something else.
Take what you will from the fact that Tien Dat was strangely devoid of other Asians, but their food is at least on par with the other Vietnamese I’ve had. They do also have more variety than most others though, serving much more than the traditional pho; perhaps this explains the customer demographic on the night we were there. So while I don’t see Ming and I heading back there any time, perhaps if you feel like some general Vietnamese food beyond hardcore pho, Tien Dat would be worth a look.
Rating: 12/20

Tien Dat on Urbanspoon

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  • Reply The Squishy Monster 05/10/2012 at 5:51 pm

    For me, I get a kick out of the amusement that is the Asian restaurant…far too often, there are things stated on the menu that have nothing to do with what’s on your plate and that’s part of the fun, I think ^.^

    • Reply Chris 07/10/2012 at 12:07 pm

      I’ll admit this is the first time we’ve really gotten something noticeably different to what we were expecting off the menu, I’d probably be too worried of eating at places like that otherwise!

  • Reply Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake 06/10/2012 at 11:29 am

    Hi Chris! :D Hope Ming’s doing well! I’ve never been to Tien Dat before, it seems very good.

    • Reply Chris 07/10/2012 at 12:10 pm

      Hey! Ming’s doing well, her posts will be back in their regular way soon. I’m probably not the biggest fan of Vietnamese food in general myself, but glad you like the sound of it!

  • Reply Libby 07/10/2012 at 7:14 am

    Great review, Chris! I should probably do the same and let my bf take over blogging duties while I work on assignments, heh.

    I don’t mind a bit of Tien Dat. Their vermicelli salads are quite good and I like that Box Hill has a decent Vietnamese restaurant which caters for those who can’t be bothered driving to Springy or Richmond. That said, it’s not the first place you’d recommend to someone who wants a good bowl of pho.

    • Reply Chris 07/10/2012 at 12:11 pm

      Thanks! And good thing I’m not looking for a good bowl of pho then, I avoid it as much as possible. :P

  • Reply Peach 07/10/2012 at 10:51 am

    /waves Hello there Chris :)
    Say hi to my evil twin :P I havent been to Tien Dat… and I used to frequent Box Hill a lot.. hmmm might need to pay a visit in that case >_<

    • Reply Chris 07/10/2012 at 12:13 pm

      Hi there- evil twin??? :P And well if your tastes are anything like Ming’s you’ll probably like it there!

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