The Foodies Guide to Melbourne seems to have just come into a new 2007 edition. In expounding the theory that Melbourne is the food capital of Australia, one of its authors, Allan Campion, makes special mention of the refurbished Minh Phat, an Asian supermarket which has set up one vacant lot back from the corner of Nicholson and Victoria Sts in Abbotsford, in what was recently a truly dreadful furniture store of large proportion which I was surprised struggled on as long as it did. This is kind of the Ikea of Asian supermarkets, though I have not spent much time in there yet. Keep meaning to. I paid $3 for a plastic packet of coriander in Clifton Hill this morning and wished I had had the time to get a fresher bunch for 80c on Victoria St, its stock-making roots still attached. The rest of Campion’s article is worth a read, but this is what he says about Minh Phat:
“I’ve also been bowled over by the stunning new Minh Phat in Abbotsford. For more than 25 years this foodstore has sold Asian ingredients in Victoria Street and at the Queen Victoria Market. Now the proprietors have taken a huge step across Victoria Street and opened an emporium of Asian ingredients. Huge, clearly laid out, beautifully lit and spacious, the store’s shelves are filled with every brand of fish sauce, curry powder, coconut milk and Chinese cooking wine you could ever need. One must-have product is the beautifully balanced Kim Vee Wong brand of soy sauce imported from Taiwan ($4 a litre). A bonus is that the floor staff speak English.”
Thanks to Gareth, an Englishman, for the beautiful image of a mangosteen, now readily available in Victoria St.