Milk Bar Mag

Milk Bar Mag

Ăn Uống Eat. Drink. Vietnam is the latest eatery in Richmond that has tongues wagging. Situated on Bridge Road, there is no mistaking Ăn Uống Eat. Drink. Vietnam’s bold presence – its buzzing vibe, fresh and colourful aesthetic draw you in for what will be a culinary experience not easily forgotten. Ăn Uống, literally meaning ‘eat, drink’ in Vietnamese, is the brainchild of three friends, Richard Nguyen, Zico Lu, and Le, who hail from different regions in Vietnam.

Perched at a table by the window, right near the bar, Milk Bar Mag were treated to a front-row seat to the fun and upbeat environment Ăn Uống prides itself on. Now to the highlights, – and there were many – you cannot go past the pumpkin spring rolls. A far cry from their store-bought counterparts, these delicious morsels are filled with spiced pumpkin. This is an appetiser that you make time for. 

Rarely does a restaurant balance cultural authenticity and modern tastes well, but Ăn Uống Eat. Drink. Vietnam’s rich knowledge of local cuisine and modern appetites are second to none. 

Local Eyes

Local Eyes

Despite a plethora of Vietnamese dining options just a stone’s throw away on Victoria Street, the group thought there was a gap in the market for what they considered Vietnamese cooking done right. They set out to combine out-of-the-box, contemporary cooking with a casual share-food setting evocative of the Vietnamese they grew up with.

The result is a relaxed venue, popping with splashes of greenery and a dynamic menu from European-trained Head Chef Zico (formerly of Grossi Florentino and Sydney’s Quay). Diners can choose to sit inside by the open kitchen and watch the Japanese Konro grill in action or, in true Vietnamese style, opt for street-side and soak up the Bridge Road foot traffic. 

Smudge Eats

Smudge Eats

An Uong – which means ‘eat, drink’ in Vietnamese – aims to showcase Vietnamese food and cooking methods in a modern way, without losing its authenticity. Using fresh and flavoursome ingredients sourced from local markets, diners are invited to experience traditional dishes with contemporary flair.

The grilled kingfish rice paper rolls and kingfish salad draw inspiration from the seafood at the fishing city of Nha Trang when the boys visited Le’s family. The beets duck salad is based on a traditional northern recipe that uses fresh duck’s blood, but Zico has adapted it to use beetroot juice, catering for the Melbourne market.

The Urbanlist Melbourne

The Urbanlist Melbourne

So, you think you know Vietnamese food inside-out? Well foodies, leave your preconceived notions of Viet-style cooking at the door of Richmond newcomer — An Uong Eat. Drink. Vietnam. This cute, contemporary twist on traditional cooking styles and familiar flavours is transforming Viet cuisine into mouth-watering tapas-esque morsels that melt in your mouth, leaving your belly brimming with deliciousness!

Concrete Playground

Concrete Playground

The idea that each country has a unified style of cuisine mightn't be true, but it's one that many a restaurant has helped hungry stomachs believe. When you're eating Vietnamese food, you're probably not thinking about exactly which parts of the nation each dish hails from — unless you're dining at Richmond's latest Vietnamese joint, that is.

The Age - Good Food

The Age - Good Food

Richard Nguyen, Le Nhat and Zico Lu, three friends each from different Vietnamese regions, have pooled their collective heritage and experience to open An Uong Eat. Drink. Vietnam. in Richmond.

Nestled among Bridge Road's eateries, An Uong ("eat, drink" in Vietnamese) is a narrow space dominated by a bar-flanked open kitchen and splashed with lively colour pops and playful neon hints, where lunch means individual bowls (vermicelli/rice/soup) for time-poor diners, and dinner is designed for lingering.