Mopho Canteen

197 Carlisle Street, Balaclava, St Kilda East
03 9531 7145


  • Fried Chicken
  • Seared Tuna┬áSalad
  • Soft Shell Crab Bahn Mi
  • Bun with Pork Spring Rolls

The Good

We were in for a big surprise as we started off with the Fried Chicken. Amidst the incredible crunch of the perfectly fried and golden batter, we tasted a hint of honey permeating throughout. This slightly sweet sensation perfectly accompanied the savoury and juicy chicken protein. Combined with the sirarcha mayo that provided a creamy and spicy kick, as well as the fresh tangy sensation of the leafy greens, this was one hell of a fried chicken dish.

The Seared Tuna┬áSalad was a signature dish and certainly didn’t disappoint. With an abundance of exceptionally fresh herbs shrouding the main show, the seared tuna itself was incredibly fresh and tender. Without a hint of fishy sensation nor sliminess, the freshness was undeniable, and its delicate protein was perfectly contrasted by the crunchy bits of peanuts and fried shallots. Piled on top was more crunchy and crispy elements like the fresh green papaya and the brittle rice paper crisps. All served with a tangy lime dressing, the dish was light, refreshing yet strangely satisfying.

We proceeded to the Soft Shell Crab Bahn Mi, which was undoubtedly the biggest Banh Mi we have ever ever seen. Sandwiched between the soft Vietnamese baguette was a mountain of crispy soft shell crab. With a slight crunch, the soft shell crab was perfectly accompanied by extra crunch elements like fried onions and gave way to some juicy and soft crab meat. This was combined with a generous portion of fragrant coriander and spring onions, as well as a slightly mixture of spicy sirarcha mayo and hoisin sauce that provided a rich depth in flavour. One of the more appetising Bahn Mi we have come across.

Rounding off the feast, we sampled the Bun, a Traditional Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Pork Spring Rolls. Far from the ordinary spring rolls dished up at nearly every restaurant, these spring rolls uses a skin formed from thin rice vermicelli that’s woven into a sheet. Chomping down, the pork sausage within was incredibly tender and juicy, providing an intense burst of flavour. Contrasting this was an abundance of herbs and vermicelli noodles coated in a sweet and savoury honey soy sauce. While the sausage was a tad too salty for our palate, there was no doubt that the flavours worked incredibly well together and made for the best Bun I’ve ever had.

The Mediocre


The Bad


The Verdict

While admittedly not a seasoned connoisseur of traditional Vietnamese cuisine and flavours, we found Mopho Canteen to be an absolute gem. With a very reasonably priced menu offering up more than generous portion sizes, you are bound to be satisfied when the food tastes this authentic, this delicious, and executed at such a consistent level.

Would Penguin Eat Again?

Most definitely. Mark it down, my new favourite traditional Vietnamese food joint to date!
Penguineats would like to thank owner Adam for inviting us to dine at Mopho Canteen.

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Mopho Canteen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato