Hochi Mama

I love the idea of tapas, nothing beats getting to try a range of dishes without breaking the bank. That’s probably why I was so taken by Rice Paper Scissors a few years ago. After hearing that the restaurant next door – Hochi Mama has a menu in a similar fashion, I was very excited to visit it on a balmy weekday night.

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The menu is divided into smaller, larger, side, and desserts. For the $59 for two deal that we went with, you get two selections from smaller, two from larger, and one side, all to share.

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Rice Paper Rolls w/ Grilled Eggplant and Fresh Vegetables

Given that our other choices were more substantial, it was a good thing that we started with the DIY rice paper rolls.

The grilled eggplant were undoubtly the star of this dish, having been marinated in a tentalising paste, with just the right amount of char coming through.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetThe perks of DIY rice paper roll is that you can choose what you want to put in it, and how much of each ingredient you’d like. Being a somewhat picky eater, this was definitely a positive for me, as it meant I could neglect the carrots altogether.

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Hochi Chicken Bahn Bao

Onto the fried things. The chicken was as good as fried chicken goes, crunchy but light batter, and juicy meat on the inside. I especially loved the fermented chilli beans on top, a nod at the Chinese cuisine that baos originate from.

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Hanoi Style Crispy Beef Ribs

This is the first time I’ve tried fried beef ribs, and it did not disappoint. Continuing to showcase the kitchen’s control of the deep frier, the meat certainly was succulent and falling off the bone with very little batter involved. The salad did seem a little thrown together to me, on the other hand, but offered a palate cleanser nonetheless.

Processed with VSCO with a6 presetI somehow lost the photo of the last larger dish that we had – the Southside Tofu Curry, so you’ll just have to have a look at the group photo for now. Being a fan of a wide variety of curries, I did enjoy the sweeter version here at Hochi Mama. The large amount of sauce was also appreciated, as it went well with the side of Coconut Rice.

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Being situated next to Rice Paper Scissors is a double edged sword for Hochi Mama, especially when they’re both serving up some sort of Asian fusion. Although the restaurant was quite filled up throughout the night, it does not have a huge line extending onto the alleyway like Rice Paper Scissors.

It might come as a surprise to some, but I actually think that Hochi Mama is just as good as Rice Paper Scissors, if not better. The prices of each individual dish also meant that getting the $59 deal actually can save you up to $20. So next time when there’s a ridiculous wait time next door, why not head into Hochi Mama and see it for yourself?

How to get there:
Hochi Mama is located on Liverpool Street, get off at Parliament Station, and the restaurant is three minutes walk away.

Hochi Mama Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Pho Dzung Tan Dinh

Spring is here! Although the weather hasn’t felt like the season has changed, that’s for sure. What better way to warm yourself up than a great big bowl of pho, with that in mind, let us get into today’s review.1Pho certainly isn’t hard to come by on Victoria Street, however, Pho Dzung Tan Dinh’s stellar reviews led us to dine here tonight. The interior was a lot cleaner than some other Vietnamese restaurants, with white and non-sticky tables, and a variety of condiments on the table, a promising meal was expected.23

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Special Beef (Medium) – $10

The menu had every pho topping combination you could imagine, and I settled for my usual order of special beef. Two bowls of piping hot noodle came out in less than five minutes, and after mixing in some bean spout, I was ready to dig in.

Pho Dazung certainly was generous with their toppings, beef balls, tendons, sliced rare beef, among other goodies were floating around in the white bowl, but my favourite part was the soup. Something that always fascinates me is how a clear soup can have such an amazing depth of flavour. I couldn’t taste any MSG in the soup base, and happily slurped away.

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Sliced Chicken and Egg (Medium) – $10

The chicken pho was equally delicious, with the soup being lighter than the beef version, but still full of flavour. The sliced chicken was a little dry however, but that was made up with the flavoursome soup in my mum’s opinion.

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Service was pretty much non-existent, as to be expected, but the quality of the pho means that I will definitely come back. If only there was some high quality pho closer to home.

How to get there:
Pho Dzung Tan Dinh is located on Victoria Street in Richmond, catch the 109 tram and get off at stop #21 Church St/Victoria St, and the restaurant is 4 mins walk away.

Pho Dzung Tan Dinh Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato