Going against my rule, we paid $29 for this Scoopon deal for two at Tan Lac Vien but I was pleasantly surprised. The restaurant was largely empty though it was dinner on a Wednesday night, but we didn’t let that deter us. There were a fair few different dishes we could choose on the menu, and it wasn’t restricted which was nice.
The entrée we chose was the Pi-Pi in XO Sauce (usually $14.0) which was delicious. The sauce was where the action was at, but I was so surprised at how many pipis were in the dish! They didn’t skimp at all and it was a very filling dish – nice and spicy and full of flavour. I enjoyed eating the pipis in sauce with the extra rice I ordered ($2.0)
I wanted to try the Vermicelli with Grilled Pork ($10.5) and I was rewarded with a really fresh, lovely dish. The Grilled pork was perfectly done; the outer had lots of flavour and was well marinated and cooked. The vermicelli was plentiful and the sweet and spicy salad dressing brought the flavours to the front.
I loved the look of the Vietnamese Mud Crab Noodle Soup (price is seasonal) so this made our second main. The soup had a very strong crab flavour, much like the Singaporean Har Mee (prawn soup), yet I couldn’t find much crab meat present. There was a large omelette type block in the middle which had some crab meat in it, but otherwise it was mostly supplemented by lots of other meat – luncheon meat, pork slices which tasted a bit old and too fatty, fish cake and coagulated blood! I loved the contrast between the two noodle dishes we chose, one was light and crispy with the fresh vegies giving it a crunch, whilst the other was a deeper, heavier noodle dish.
Lastly, we finished the meal with one of my favourite Asian desserts – BANANA FRITTERS WITH ICE-CREAM!!! Tan Lac Vien does this very well, deep frying the batter to perfection and though the ice-cream was not the highest quality, it was sufficient. I feel the cheap chocolate flavoured sauce was unnecessary and I left most of it on the plate.Overall I was very pleased with this Scoopon and Tan Lac Vien, it was very much worth the price we paid. Though prices are higher than most restaurants in the Springvale area, they also offer very well cooked Vietnamese/Chinese cuisine, which is a nice option if you’re willing to take the chance.