Ho explains that what sets their restuarant apart from others is the freshness of their beef, their hand-made noodles, and of course, their broth. Cooked for 12-14 hours, the broth is the heart and soul of the dish, exceptionally rich with a deep beefy flavour from a family recipe.
Growing up in Springvale, a suburb in Melbourne’s south-east, with a large Vietnamese and Chinese community, the three agree that the best phở can be found in these communities, as the flavours have not changed to the wider palate, and the authenticity of the taste remains.
When places in the CBD are lacking in taste, it is the suburbs around Melbourne that pick up the slack and save the tastebuds. Here are the Top 5 spots chosen by the ‘Pho Real’ crew for you to try:
Are You ‘PHO’ Real?
Of course, the best-tasting choice should always be your first pick. With their fresh noodles and rich broth, this pop-up store was the obvious choice for number one. While it is now closed, they expect to re-create the same magic – and then some – in their new restaurant in September.
Pho Hung Vuong 2
Outside of their own restaurant, Pho Hung Vuong 2 is by far their most beloved phở restaurant in ‘all of Australia.’ Despite the tacky white tiles and mirrored walls of this restaurant, the taste of the food is second to none. The portions are generous, to say the least, and with all meals under $10, it makes for a great, cheap, and filling dinner.
Pho Hung Vuong 2, 15 Balmoral Avenue, Springvale, VIC, Australia, +61 3 9558 5147
Pho Hung Vuong Saigon
Much like Pho Hung Vuong 2 in Springvale, Pho Hung Vuong Saigon shares many similarities in terms of looks and branding. The phở is of a similar high quality, but the menu expands to more than just the classic beef noodle soup, including rice dishes and a selection of entrées.
Pho Hung Vuong Saigon, 128 Hopkins Street, Footscray, VIC, Australia, +61 3 9689 6002
Pho Chu The
If Pho Hung Vuong Saigon is full, you can head down the street to Pho Chu The to enjoy a great bowl of phở at this spot that shares the same name as a well known phở restaurant in Richmond.
Like many others in Springvale, Pho Hung delivers in taste what it lacks in aesthetics. In addition to their rather large portions of phở, they have a range of classic Vietnamese delights, including broken rice with a fried porkchop and bún bò Huế, a spicy beef noodle soup.
Pho Hung, 268-274 Springvale Road, Springvale, VIC, Australia, +61 3 9540 3566
The ‘Are You PHO Real?’ trio plan to open up their own restaurant sometime in mid-September at the same location, with an all-new look and a menu of traditional and fusion cuisine. By keeping it casual and serving good food, they want their place to be ‘the place you eat before going out on a Friday night.’ So far, the name and other information is being kept a secret, but watch this space for any updates in the coming months.