Pho Hung (Springvale)

#27-29 268-274 Springvale Road
Springvale VIC 3171
03 9540 3566

I normally do my Asian grocery shopping at Little Saigon, Footscray. That market is fantastic. Near home, near work. And they close about 7ish, which means I can quickly pop in after work to get what I need before heading home to cook. You do have to stay calm there though, it’s very bustly with lots of yelling in Vietnamese as they compete to sell their produce.
But one Wednesday, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and head eastwards for my Asian groceries, to Springvale. My twitter friends would’ve noticed my unbridled enthusiasm from my tweets. I was excited, and more than happy to be tourist again. Hao was my tour guide. I did get quite a lot of shopping done in Springvale, including bamboo steamers, long chopsticks and buah keras (candlenuts). I also got an $8 haircut there and that was quite an entertaining experience. I sat down, there was a flurry of shavers, scissors and hands, and before I knew it my haircut was complete. It’s day 8 since my haircut and actually it’s not half bad.

Strolling in Springvale

We’ve been recommended to check out Phở Hùng and looking at how busy the joint is, it probably should be good. I am still amazed how a place can be so popular just by selling noodle soups with nothing else on the menu food-wise. I guess it pays to specialise.

We were seated quite promptly. I liked how this mum was feeding her kid some of the phở. She almost looks like she’s saying “Here. Eat… or else!” with a no-nonsense but maternal love. Haha! The way our brusque waitress (walking leftwards in the photo above) took our order was cute too. She confirmed “too speshia beep sup?” (two special beef soups) and strode off.

I wanted to try the hot soya bean drink in a Vietnamese place. Couldn’t say I warmed to it here. The flavour of the soybean was not familiar, with slight chemical undertones.

Saigon’s Phở Hòa serves 3 kinds of herb with their noodle soups: rice paddy herb, sawtooth herb and thai basil. See blog post and pics about it here. It’s all about choice, you can actually choose which herb you prefer to have your phở with. And note that you can actually find all 3 herbs in Melbourne, I spotted them whilst shopping in Springvale. But it seems Melbourne’s phở joints tend to serve only one herb and that’s Thai basil. Lol, maybe next time I’ll bring my own sawtooth herb and surreptitiously put it into my soup…!
Phở Bò Dặc Biệt (Special Beef Combination)
But when the push comes to the shove, what really makes a phở eatery stand out with me is the broth, the ingredients inside it and the chilli oil they have on the side. Yes, I’m ashamed to say I like adding heeeaps of chilli oil into my phở as opposed to fresh cut chillies.
The broth here was quite alright, with clean hints of anise and maybe cloves. But I did wish it was meatier and more robust. The selection of beef parts and pieces were good, but not as good in quality as Phở Chú Thể in Richmond. It was a similar story with the chilli oil, the fragrance and oomph factor was not as punchy here.
So overall, it’s still a good bowl of phở. Just not the best in Melbourne.
My bowl of phở, after I got somewhat carried away with adding chilli oil. Shiok!
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