But we’re going to make it easy for you – next time you’re in the Victorian capital of cool, all you wanna do is ride, ride on into Saigon Sally.
Just off trendy Chapel Street, down a lane (as you do) you’ll find this rather new Vietnamese bar-cum-eatery.
Before you even sit down you’ll notice the low lighting, street art on the walls and even a projection of old kung-fu movies into the nearby alleyway. It’s everything you’d expect from über-cool Melbourne.
The grub: It’s modern Vietnamese classics with an emphasis on share plates. You can’t go wrong with the Banh Xeo Taco ($8), a kind of Viet-take on the Mexican street food you can load up with pork, prawns and bean shoots.
While the Kingfish Tatare ($6) is a silky, light fish served on a betal leaf and is perfect side dish for those concentrating on the hefty cocktail list.
Even the Rare Wagyu Strip ($32) is delicate and dainty, accompanied with pomegranate (a surprisingly good mix).
Share everything but our advice would be to get selfish on the Tira-Mi-Sally ($10), this dessert is seriously worth fighting over. Served with coffee parfait, condensed milk and peanut brittle, it’s like a fine-dining version of the roadside Vietnamese ice-coffee.
Behind the bar: You can pull up a pew at the centre-stage bar and choose from over 50 wines, but you’d be a fool not to try the cocktails. They’re Asian-inspired, like the Boom Boom Mojito ($17) – a rather spicy take on the Cuban classic. But if you’re sharing, a jug of red wine Sangria ($35) is guaranteed to help you paint the town red.
Bill please: Considering they could charge whatever they want and the crowds would still come, it is surprisingly cheap. You’re not going to roll-out stuffed but you can leave satisfied with enough coin left in your pocket for a good night.
Verdict: Given Melbourne’s transient loyalty, it may not stay cool forever but Sally will always have a place in our hearts. Give her a burn, you won’t be disappointed.
2 Duke Street, Windsor, saigonsally.com.au