The main food action in St Albans is definitely on Alfrieda Street, so it’s sometimes easy to miss what else is going on around the corner on Main Road.
Dong Ba 2 (302 Main Road East, phone 9364 6663), for instance.
It’s a relative newcomer to St Albans and a younger sibling of the Footscray version.
Dong Ba 2 is quite chic in terms of its otherwise regulation Vietnamese cafe decor.
The menu is long and features all the usual suspects, with a few less familiar offerings along the way.
Very few places, just as an example, serve pho of the “Chicken Farm” variety.
It’s common in much of the Western world for younger animals to be more coveted for food than the older.
Lamb is seen as more ritzy than mutton.
But in many parts of the world older animals are more revered for their extra flavour.
Is Dong Ba 2’s Chicken Farm pho ($15) worth the extra few bucks above the regulation chook soup noodle?
Is it more rustic and funky?
There’s an extremely generous amount of chicken in that bowl – far more than the photo indicates.
It’s all wonderfully flavoursome and quite chewy (though not onerously so). And some of it is various shades of brown rather than the more familiar white meat.
There’s skin, some gristle – and even a few bones.
With great broth and accessories, it all adds up to significant extra all-round punch.
(This post has been sponsored by the St Albans Business Group. However, Consider The Sauce chose and paid for the food involved and the STBG neither sought nor was granted any access or say in the writing of this post.)