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Tia To is my favourite oriental herb. Also known as Tiet To, Vietnamese Perilla, shiso or Vietnamese Hojiso, this aromatic herb can jazz up anything. I love having it amongst other mints with lettuce, spring rolls, vermicelli, bean spouts and pickled radish, or wrapped tighly with fresh tuna in a sushi roll.
Tia To is also a glamourous Vietnamese restaurant in Melbourne's Crown Casino. The menu was an extensive list of traditional Vietnamese goodies and unlike the casual Vietnamese restaurants elsewhere, there was no sign of grubby chopsticks which needed to be pre-wiped with hot tea and a tissue. This royal red duo spoke a different type of elegance.
Menu part 1
Menu part 2
Chopsticks and ceramic soup spoon
My Ching Po Luong (sometimes referred to as Sam Bo Luong) was different too. It was the same sweet syrup drink but the barley peals, water chestnut and seaweed were absent. However, I still enjoyed the generous mix of dried longans, red dates and lotus seeds. We also had the authentic Vietnamese iced black coffee.
Ching Po Luong
Iced black coffee
The Salt and Pepper Squid was spectacularly crisp. The squid was amazingly tender and I simply loved how tightly the thin batter hung on to each piece. For $12, you would expect a little bit more, but it was a compromise of quality over quantity which I'd accepted.
Salt and pepper squid
The pho stock was sublime and much fancier than what I had expected. Gourmet pho, it was.
Fresh herb garnishes for pho, beef noodle soup
Pho dac biet aka. special beef noodle soup
Nuoc cham fish sauce
The spring rolls in my Bun Thit Nuong Cha Gio were too miniature to be satisfying. Tasty slices of BBQ pork were scattered in a bowl with bean sprouts, cucumber, peanuts, vermicelli and the traditional favourite topping of shallots and pork lard. The crispiness of the crispy pork lard enhanced the flavours of this simple dish. It was bad for the body but ooh so good for the soul.
Bun thit nuong cha gio, BBQ sliced pork and pork spring roll on rice vermicelli
Tia To Vietnamese Restaurant
Main Gaming Floor
Phone: (03) 9292 6989
Open Sunday - Thursday 12noon - 12midnight
Friday and Saturday 12noon - 1am