Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pho Hung Vuong - (Melbourne)

  Almost everyone in Australia love eating Pho -  and Melbourne is known to be a pho city,  with so many shops lying in the Vietnamese community suburbs  (Springvale, Richmond, Footscray, St Albans with some shops in the City).    Everybody have their own preferred Pho -  but so do I.   A really good bowl of pho must have a balanced broth,  made primarily with beef, beef bones and chicken as well as subtle spices.  The variety of meat, tripes and tendons need to be sliced thinly and tasty in a Pho Bo Dac Biet.   Most importantly,  the soup should finally be spiked up with the right mixture of herbs and a squeeze of lemon or lime,  and may be a touch of chili.  


Pho Hung Vuong in Springvale -
They also have a shop in Richmond and Footscray,  this brand is amongst the better pho shops,
as recommended by both local Vietnamese customers and nearby vendors…

A Visit to the Local Vietnamese Grocery Market Stall is essential -
As mentioned in the Pho Chu The (now renamed to I Love Pho 264) review, 
not a single Pho shop in Melbourne gives out a very essential herb,  that will make the pho become alive and more fragrant.    According to fellow international foodies,  this is what makes Australian Phos fall behind those bowls being served at similarly well known and famous Pho towns in the world, such as those found in Canada,  Paris, Vietnam and also a singular shop in HK.   Customers should be responsible for pushing this idea forward,  if you love your country and your phos!   Insist on a change. Sad smile


The Herbs Section -

Culantro,  or Mexican Coriander/Cilantro (Ngo Gai)  -  
Around 80 Cents to $2.0 a bunch
As a city quite well known for it’s Pho shops,   it is surprising to see that 0% of the shops in town bother to provide this very essential herb to the customers.   One of the shop owners in another shop I subsequently visited saw me carrying-in this herb to the shop,  and instantly gave me the thumbs up and commented that this is a very good herb for a pho bo.   I asked him then why he doesn’t provide it to his customers?  He cited reasons of it being too expensive to provide in Melbourne,  but he also mentioned that in Vietnam every pho shop will provide this by default on top of the Thai Basil.  It’s smell in the soup is almost spicy yet lemony, with the tips being the spiciest in an exotic way.   A Pho without Culantro is seriously  never going to be alive,  as a fellow foodie in HK who has tried phos world wide also agree –  even the best Pho shops in Paris provide them by default.     So buy some for yourself to make a comparison,  just for fun ! 




Condiments -  Thai Basil, Cut Chili,  Lemon (prefer Lime),  Bean Sprouts
Every Pho shop in Melbourne provides the same combination, but minus the essential Culantro, 
with the exception of a particular 1 Hatted Restaurant,
which even gave out the wrong herb altogether without understanding its usage…




Pho Dac Biet with the lot –  AUD $9.0
A quick test of the Broth before putting in the herbs.  It was slightly beefy but a little too onion-y sweet,  it’s one of the better ones around town but a little one dimensional compared to the best and no hint of spice was present.    The beef arrived looking rare which is a good thing.   The other components such as a tripe,  beef balls,  peppered sausage and brisket were also it’s weak point as they’re a little tough to eat.     ~    6.9/10



Throw in the Thai Basil and the self bought Culantro, on top of the Spring Onion  -
Vietnamese food is often complimented by a variety of herbs,  especially mint leaves.  The whole concept behind a bowl of pho is that it should be well balanced between beef bone and chicken broth,  the various spices added,  the herbs contributing the final grassy aroma, etc.  



Rice Noodles -
Not bad,  but not as smooth as some other shops.   They’re all similar enough in quality anyway,  but after doing direct comparisons there are slight advantages in some other shops!



Logan Drink (Nhan Nhuc) -
This was a little too sweet as there is not enough of the watery drink,  but too much ice. 
Am I suppose to wait for the ice to melt then dilute the drink?  Don’t think so,  as other shops don’t have this problem.


Specialises in Pho,  and nothing else!
The one here was edible and nearly recommendable - but there are 2 to 3 shops which have a convincingly more sophisticated Pho in town for now,  but none are perfect unfortunately ! This probably just lies outside of the Podium !





Price: AUD $10 -12 per person
Food:  ♕♕♕ 1/2  to  ♕♕♕♕

Opening Hours -
Mon - Sun    10am - 9pm

Address: Shop 2 / 15 Balmoral Avenue, Springvale, Melbourne Victoria 3171.
Ph: (03) 9558 5147


  1. have you tried thanh nga 9? i wouldn't ask you to go there for pho but the other vietnamese dishes are good.

    thanks for providing this crucial information!

  2. I am not sure if one of the ones that I went to is Thanh Nga 9 or not, but may be I ordered the wrong stuff lol - 1 dish was very good, 1 was decent, and the other one wasn't too good (the bun bo hue's meat was not edible). It's weird how much Vietnamese food I've eaten lately - hardly eat it in HK haha! :D



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