Dandelion is a very unobtrusive Vietnamese restaurant in Ormond Road, Elwood. I often work in the Elwood area and I find I hardly notice Dandelion. In fact when I was invited to a birthday lunch there I found it hard to place it.
I think this is partly due to the fact they are only open Thursday through to Sunday for lunch so when I am wandering past it is firmly closed and the next door high-class car repair shop is far more visible.
Dandelion seed heads have always had a special charm for me. They are so delicate and break up so easily. A breath of wind causes the seeds and their tiny parachutes to waft in all directions.
I posted a picture of one because I wanted you to be able to look at one as your read about the restaurant – thank you Wikipedia.
However, unlike a real dandelion, Dandelion in Elwood does have substance in their menu. The food is like a dandelion is airy and charming. It leaves the diner with a satisfied and light feeling.
The narrow long space inside is soft with a high-light of a beautiful green garden wall that is thriving and gives the narrow area a feeling of space and of being outdoors.
It was a delicious lunch. There were four us. Three of us choose the set menu – two courses for $40. and three courses for $50. So there is entree, main and dessert to chose from.
This is what we ate.
Soft shell crab and avocado rice paper rolls with Mrs T’s magical sauce . The magic was in the crispness of the crab, the mint and to some extent the lightly flavoured Mrs T’s sauce. These were delicious. I would order them again.
The mains on the set menu were a choice between roast quail and grilled salmon. I had the quail and I loved the combination of the quail, water melon and a salad with a lovely minty flavour. The water melon was a surprise and it was a perfect combination. The salmon got the thumbs up too.
Those having dessert couldn’t get past Lemongrass panna cotta, mandarin jelly, flambéed blood plum. Not a true Vietnamese dish but the glasses were scraped clean.
Dandelion have an excellent web site, here. It gives the menu, prices and has photographs of their dishes. It is worth checking this before you go. The web site also discusses Vietnamese cuisine and the wines they have chosen to go with it.
Our $40 meal included a glass of Chardonnay or Shiraz and coffee afterwards. This seemed good value to us. The service was fine for us, a little slow in you were in a hurry. You may to want to let them know if you have time restrictions. Dandelion is busy so it is a good idea to book.
133 Ormond Road
Lunch Thursday to Sunday opens at 12.00 noon
Dinner every night from 5.30pm
Bus: Number 630 & Number 923 & Number 246
There is about a 20 minute walk to Elsternwick train station and to trams
Parking: Two hour parking in the side streets and if you are lucky you will find unrestricted parking a little further from Ormond Ro