Shop 2 / 15 Balmoral Avenue
Who doesn’t love pho? Well, Chris doesn’t, but it’s ok – aside from pho and more pho, Pho Hung Vuong also serves… more pho. Go figure. Thankfully its close proximity to Springvale shopping center promises crispy batons of Chinese donuts and fat pork buns for hungry hungry shoppers and boyfriends who don’t like beef noodle soup.
|Small Special Beef Pho ($7.5)
A bowl of Special Beef Pho ($7.5, small) had a sweet broth that’s probably the most delicate one I’ve come across so far. It’s also viciously spicy, which is unusual for pho unless if you add in the condiments yourself. It took one sip for Chris to choke on the unexpectedly peppery soup, and he proceeded to rub his watering eyes with hands that had touched chilli mere moments before. It turned his face an interesting shade of puce that would have made Uncle Vernon proud, and if his eyes were watering before, they were practically raining tears of pain now. Apparently Chris didn’t connect the dots that touching chilli, then rubbing your eyes could do this. Silly boy.
The bovine bits in the pho were of good quality but fairly standard, though a puck of rustic beef sausage is a cut above the rest. Some onion slivers would have been nice. The highlight of the otherwise average and slightly too sweet dish was the noodles, piled high in a hefty mound underneath the clear broth, way more than what either of us could finish.
|Small Chicken Fillet Pho ($7.5)
Resigning himself to a Chicken Fillet Pho ($7.5, small), Chris was treated (though he would beg to differ) to a bowl of soup that’s pure and clear, and once again delicately sweet, but not overly so this time. The porcelain-white chicken fillets were sliced into even pieces, and the soup distinctly lacks the sickly colour and too-tasty flavour of MSG. It’s probably the best chicken pho I’ve had to date.
I’m going to be honest; I would much rather have my pho in Richmond, where every other shop serves an excellent bowl of noodles. But I can’t pretend that I’m not happy to have found a decent spot of pho that’s relatively easy to get to from my house, and not to mention, cheap to boot. Now if only I could finish the enormous serving AND have room left over for some freshly made Chinese donuts.
Rating: 13/20 – painpho.