Since my recent foray into pho I’ve been dreaming of reliving the experience. Winter really is perfect soup weather. A big bowl of steamy soup will warm you all the way to the tips of your toes. So when it was time for a catch up with a group of friends and I had to suggest a place I had Vietnamese on the brain. This is the crew that tends to catch up in Vic Park, given it’s fairly central to where we all work. We’ve tried Christina’s and Panchos on previous rendezvous but this time it was agreed that we would head to Phu Pho.
Along Albany Highway in Vic Park is quite the buzzing little strip these days. Spoilt for choice! I’d not been to Phu Pho before but it looked like a nice spot. A fairly modern, albeit slightly eclectic fit out, with some glitzy lighting and interesting wall paper combinations. I liked it though.
There was only one other table when we arrived for our 6pm booking but the place gradually filled up. We looked at the menu and it was fairly extensive, but we all seemed quite content to start with pho. And rice paper rolls of course. What pleased us most was that you could order a small serve of pho for $8. I had liked my last pho experience but there was no way I was going to finish the giant bowl that was presented to me, so I was pleased and sure that a small serving would be a lot more manageable.
So I ordered a small beef pho and we then also went for some pork and prawn rice paper rolls and also some squid tentacles. The rice paper rolls arrived first and they looked fabulous. A generous sized portion, jam packed with plump prawns and tender strips of pork, along with plenty of rice noodles and the refreshing finish from the mint and cucumber. And as if that wasn’t enough, they came served with a delicious dipping sauce. It was just so tasty! The combination of flavours was entirely pleasing, especially with the punchy sauce.
The serve of squid tentacles was also fairly ample. A substantial mountain of them was brought to us and they also packed plenty of flavour and just the right kick of heat. Very easy to sit and snack on a plate of those.
The star though was the pho. As soon as it was presented the heady aroma of the spices used to create it filled our noses. Yum! Couldn’t wait to launch in. We spritzed in some citrus, threw in a handful of fresh herbs and it was time for that highly anticipated first spoonful. So good!! The broth was such a delicious medley of carefully balanced herbs and spices. So much depth of flavour, I couldn’t get enough! Plus the beef strips just melted in your mouth. There were oodles of noodles too, which helped to bulk out the dish. A small was just the perfect size – I finished the whole bowl comfortably – feeling like quite the hero to have finished my pho :)
At this point we were umming and ahhing over whether we actually needed to order any other dishes as the pho had put a considerable dent in our appetites. We made the decision to order a few more rice paper rolls, while one of our group couldn’t go past the fried ice cream. The fried icecream did look nice and I loved that they included some decorative and refreshing apple on the side, but having another of those rice paper rolls was perfect. I’d say they were some of the best I’ve had.
So if you are wandering through Vic Park and wondering which of the many, many restaurants to call into, then perhaps try Phu Pho. Friendly service and delicious pho! I’m hoping to head back soon! :)