Thursday, April 07, 2011

March 30, 2011: Tan Truc Giang

March was a really crappy month for Michael at work but by the time I'd returned from Canberra he was just about done and wanted to take a half-day off. We used it to devise our own mini-tour of Footscray - first compiling a Google map of places we could visit, then jumping on the bus and using my smartphone as a guide for a few hours.  I have some Luddite tendencies but must admit that little device allowed us the perfect balance between planning and flexibility.

We arrived in Footscray starving, and I led Michael with some confidence to Tan Truc Giang.  I'd made an unsuccessful visit to this restaurant once before but since then K and Toby had deduced the magic words to obtain a vegetarian banh mi:

"Vegetarian roll".  Though we didn't catch the exact cost, based on our total bill we were most likely charged $3.50, perhaps $4 at a stretch, per roll.  And that crusty roll is stuffed to bursting with bbq-style seitan, pickled carrot and unevenly distributed chilli.

Tan Truc Giang also has one of its bain maries devoted exclusively to vegetarian food!  And that veg selection comes with a recommendation from Footscray's food-blogging ambassador Ms Baklover.  I'll have to give it a try after my delight in their vegetarian roll's very existence wears off.  

That could take a while.

Tan Truc Giang has also been blogged at In the Mood for Noodles, Half-Eaten and Footscray Food Blog (twice).

Tan Truc Giang
36A Leeds St, Footscray
9689 9509
vegetarian roll ~$3.50


  1. The vegie banh mi at Nhu Lan on Hopkins St is also worth a visit. Maybe you've got a better perspective on this than me, but Melbourne's vegetarian Vietnamese food seems easier to find and (relatively) more abundant than in Vietnam itself?

  2. Have you tried the tofu roll at Nhu Lan? Also very good. And with more salad than what it appears Tan Truc Giang's has (read: coriander and cucumber). Nhu Lan also does a 'salad roll' which involves crushed peanuts and caramelised onions, but I'm not so much of a fan of that one.

  3. Oh looks great! There is one other Vietnamese bakery where you can buy a tofu banh mi :) Really delicious, but i forgot the name of the place! grrrr.

  4. That is very cool! Marine are you thinking of Fresh Chilli Deli? Apparently the one in St Albans will ask you if you are vegetarian and if so will clean the tongs and knife for you.

  5. Thanks, all, for your tips!

    Phil, you could be right though I've not been to Vietnam and can't really compare. Presumably the language barrier is less of an issue for me here. :-)

    CloudControl, there was a teeny bit of greenery in this one but I could certainly go some more. We'll try Nhu Lan out next time!

    Welcome, Marine! These might be a little more common than I was aware.

    Lauren, we always appreciate a place that 'gets' vegetarians. Thanks for the suggestion.

  6. Happened to be near here today, so got a Vegetarian roll roll and some rice paper rolls. Very good, the fresh chill nearly killed me, the filling is a mix of mushrooms and seitan, I wish I could be out that way more often! Thanks for the hook-up!

  7. Oh, that's great Nudbot! The chilli was really pushing my limits too, though Michael loved it. :-)