Pho Hung Vuong Saigon – Footscray
128 Hopkins St
Footscray, VIC 3011
03 9689 6002
I’ve been having my priorities in the wrong places. My concept of what I should blog about (circa 2012-2013) revolved a lot around many of Melbourne’s hotter and much-talked-about spots. Meanwhile, my love for Singapore Hawker Food and those comforting, affordable cheap eats that I’d be going for 80% of the time were left on the sidelines and unblogged.
So it’s time to rectify that! If anything else, let me just cheekily say that it’s WAAAAY easier to blog about a one-dish-meal for two as opposed to a 9-course degustation with the added slap of amuse bouches, palate cleansers and petit fours… hah!
When it comes to pho, I’d normally make a bee-line for I Love Pho 264 in Richmond (really good beef quality there) or its sister branch nearby Phoenix Phuong Hoang (just as good, plus the broth isn’t as crazy salty). But when it comes to Footscray, I actually don’t know which of the many joints along this stretch gives you good pho.
It so happened that Fatbee and I were in Footscray getting the ingredients to cook Sayur Lodeh (Malaysian Vegetable Curry). Being so chilly and all this winter, I had a hankering for pho, so we stopped by here for a quick feed. I definitely have been here before, but just never quite got around to blogging it!
Broken Rice with Grilled Pork Chop, Fried Egg & Shredded Pork $11.00
There’s a universal truth about most Vietnamese phos, and it’s how MSG is always present. Fatbee’s a bit sensitive with MSG, so he went with Com Tam (broken rice) instead. While it isn’t the best version of it around, he was pretty happy with it, aside for how the pork chop could afford more chargrilling action to it. I personally think it’s pretty good considering it’s a place that actually specialises in noodle soup.
Special Beef Combination Noodle Soup – Small $9.00
I got my usual order of phở bò đặc biệt, which is beef pho with all the trappings such as meat loaf, tendons and tripe. I also went smart and had a small bowl, which is a perfect portion size for me these days. I liked how the broth was quite clean tasting with a bit of sweetness, the beef offerings were pretty good too, although not quite as fabulous as I Love Pho 264’s beef quality, but it’s quite close to it. I was happy.
It was a good and simple feed. Pictured here, you’ve got the beef tripe and tendons sitting happily on my spoon. I also added a few teaspoonsful of chilli oil (on top of having cut red chillies in the mix) to spice things up a bit. It’s how I enjoy eating my pho.
One caveat though… what I thought was sweetness in my broth was actually oodles of MSG. I left the place with a pretty dry back of the throat. But that’s a feature of most pho places anyway, so I shouldn’t hold it against them.
Sayur Lodeh… on the simmer
And here’s what we cooked that afternoon. It was pretty good and went very well with ayam goreng (Malay deep fried chicken) and beef rendang. If you’re keen, check out my Sayur Lodeh Recipe.