For many years our family has enjoyed a "cheap eat" dining out experience as a weekly treat. We started this when kid #1 was a bub. Our "go to" venue was usually on Victoria Street Richmond ( an inner Melbourne City suburb) which is dominated by Vietnamese businesses.
When we started this "tradition", dubbed by our then toddler as "noonies", it was a super cheap eat - usually $15 for the 3 of us because kid #1 just shared noodles from our plates. By shared, I mean covered himself with them, at the end of the meal Mr G would carry the little guy out into the street and shake him clean. What a mess he made! But the proprietors would never bat an eye, but instead gush over our cute little guy enthusiastically.
Our family grew and we began to try out other restaurants, our kids grew so did their capacity to eat more, inflation hit these usually cheap restaurants - prices increased and our cheap eat increased in $. Nonetheless, the 5 can still has "noonies" for under $80. We don't do it weekly anymore, but it still feels traditional when we do.
Our current fave restaurant is Ha Long Bay, where the decor is lovely with big photographic murals of rural Vietnam and these beautiful lanterns clustered in at the rear of the restaurant. I love dining out in Victoria Street, the smells, the sights and regardless of what restaurant you patronise, you can count on a friendly, warm welcome. If you are ever in our lovely city make sure you visit Victoria Street.