8 East Esplanade, St Albans. Phone: 9364 4433
Ambling into the Vietnamese hub of St Albans, I have a persistent mantra pounding in my head: “Lunch, noodles, pho, lunch, noodles, pho …”
Then I am waylaid by a sign.
Given our undying love for Footscray Best Kebab House, the sign is something of a cross between an invitation and a challenge. Irresistible, in either case.
I saunter up the laneway, and enter through the rear of the kebab house.
I order a standard $12 plate of lamb of the spit.
I may have done better to order one of the grilled-to-order meats – shish, say – for the lamb is edible but average, lacking sparkle.
With the meat I get cacick (cuke/yogurt) and eggplant dips, and both are good – again, without making the senses sing. I also ask for an extra dollop of the chilli dip. This is weird – totally lacking any kind of spice kick, it is nevertheless tasty in a smoky way that recalls Mexican or Latin American food. It’s a winner with the meat and the highlight of my lunch.
The accompanying salad – a finely diced mix of red and green capsicum, carrot and cabbage – nice touch, that – is good.
Victoria’s Best Kebab House? I don’t think so … but if it was just around the corner, it’d probably be my second home.