936 Whitehorse Rd
Box Hill, VIC 3128
Yes, I’m having pho again. In two days. It’s been a hard week, ok?
After an unsatisfying bowl of pho that only just curbed my cravings, I decided to nip it in the bud once and for all with a traditional bowl of noodles at Pho Huong Viet. I’ve been here previously for a good but not fantastic bowl of bun bo hue, but this time it’s all about the pho. The interior of this restaurant is a smidge nicer than the usual fluorescent lights and sticky tables set-up, and the staff were more than a smidge nicer than usual; in fact all of them had big smiles on their faces, which is definitely something of a novelty.
My usual order of Pho Special Beef ($9, small) had an incredibly flavoursome soup that boasted a rich beefiness. The spice levels were a bit lower than you’d expect, and I suspect there’s a decent whack of MSG in it as well, but that didn’t change the fact that the broth was delicious. There was a disappointing lack of tripe and sausage, and only half a beef ball, but there was plenty of rare beef and brisket to go around. The overall flavour is noticeably neater than what you get at most pho places, but it was a satisfyingly slurpable bowl of noodles, especially with the spice and tang from a good squeeze of sriracha sauce.
Chris ordered the Shaking Beef ($9.95) with Fried Rice ($2 extra) almost purely based off the name, but thankfully the dish itself delivered. Though slightly tough, the cubed beef was charred and juicy, complemented wonderfully by the crisp veggies. The accompanying fried rice was flavoured lightly with only a hint of salt and wok hei, which would be an issue if it were served by itself, but was great as a side as it didn’t overwhelm the dish.
The menu came on a tick-sheet, which hit two birds with one stone. And for those of you who don’t like noodles, Pho Huong Viet also has a wide range of rice dishes, salads, and even some snacks to complement your meal. Yes I’ve had better pho, and yes I’ve had cheaper pho, but I’m not going to kick up a fuss when this meal hit the spot so nicely, and was served with a smile to boot.