PHO N ROLL

585 Little Collins Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
http://phonrollmelbourne.com.au/

(1) Interior

Pho N Roll is a little Vietnamese cafe, hidden away in a bluestone building near Southern Cross Station. It’s easy to miss, but I found myself being led to it by my nose. The restaurant itself isn’t much to look at, being more of a series of tables in the foyer, but the intoxicating aroma of spices and beef bones hint at something a little more special.

Roast Duck Steamed Burger Bun ($5ea)

Roast Duck Steamed Burger Bun ($5ea)

I had promised Chris a date at Max Brenner, so the plan was to eat lightly. We started with a nibble of Roast Duck Steamed Burger Bun ($5ea). Biting through the fluffy bun, our teeth sank into a fatty, succulent cut of duck, boasting a layer of crisp skin. It was simply but aptly garnished with hoisin sauce, and crunchy pickled carrots.

Seasonal Mushroom ‘n’ Tofu Rice Paper Rolls ($5.5, 2pcs)

Seasonal Mushroom ‘n’ Tofu Rice Paper Rolls ($5.5, 2pcs)

The rice paper rolls here sound fantastic, especially in comparison to the skimpy rolls at my work cafeteria. The Seasonal Mushroom ‘n’ Tofu Rice Paper Rolls ($5.5, 2pcs) were fat and generously filled with tofu and pickled mushrooms. It was light on the flavour but the tangy peanut sauce on the side was the perfect remedy. It just needed some more fresh herbs.

Chilli Tiger Prawns ‘n’ Green Apple Rice Paper Rolls ($6, 2pcs)

Chilli Tiger Prawns ‘n’ Green Apple Rice Paper Rolls ($6, 2pcs)

The Chilli Tiger Prawns ‘n’ Green Apple Rice Paper Rolls ($6, 2pcs) on the other hand were great, simple as that. The prawns were marinated in a rich chilli sauce, and complemented by the brightness of apple batons. Dipped into nuoc cham, I could eat these all day.

Prawn ‘n’ Chives Dumplings ($8, 5pcs)

Prawn ‘n’ Chives Dumplings ($8, 5pcs)

Last but not least, we had a plate of Prawn ‘n’ Chives Dumplings ($8, 5pcs). These definitely looked the part; sitting in a shallow pool of chilli soy, the greenness of the chives peeked promisingly through the translucent skin.

Prawn ‘n’ Chives Dumplings ($8, 5pcs)

Prawn ‘n’ Chives Dumplings ($8, 5pcs)

Sadly, these were a disappointment. The skin that seemed so pearly on first glance turned out to be thick and gluggy, whilst the centre was indistinct and mushy. Flavour-wise it was reasonably tasty, but having expected springy skin and supple chunks of prawn, I was left disappointed.

All things considered, I was pretty happy with my meal at Pho N Roll. Despite a couple of misses, I found the food to be homely and yummy, and I really liked the variety of dishes on offer. Despite finishing the meal on the fence about whether or not I wanted to return, the smell of the pho from the next table changed my mind. I’ll be back. Pho sure.

Rating: 13/20 – pho sure.
This rating reflects my personal experience at the time of visit.

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Asian  Cafe  Cheapie Lunch (Under $15)  Melbourne CBD  Street Food  Victoria  Vietnamese 



Comments (1)


  • Katherine

    on 28 July 2015 @ 01:01 pm:

    Have you been down to Geelong recently? There's quite a few good places down that way such as Pistol Petes and Black Bull and in the last few weeks at their Tastes event they were offering lots of specials. The chips at Pistol Petes were the bomb and the tapas at Black Bull were yummy and you can book that place on Dimmi. And if you get enough points you might be able to have a free dinner down there.

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