Where to get Melbourne’s best pho

TRACY Pham shares the Vietnamese restaurants that top her list in Melbourne, where  you can slurp down the iconic pho for no more than $10 a bowl.

Photo: Boris Anthony

Photo: Boris Anthony

Most people know pho as the most famous dish in Vietnamese cuisine. Like hot green tea, pho also has a distinct taste and aroma.

Pho (pronounced as “faa”)  is a type of rice noodle in a richly flavoured broth that’s been cooked for hours using beef bones, fresh onions and spices. The soup for pho ga (pho with chicken meat) on the other hand, is made by stewing chicken and pig bones together. The white chicken meat that is usually served with pho ga is boneless and cut into thin slices.

The following restaurants are some of my top picks, just note that cash is normally the only payment method in these restaurants.

Pho Hung Vuong 2 

Beef Combination Pho for $7. Photo: Alpha via Flickr

Beef Combination Pho for $7. Photo: Alpha via Flickr

Pho Hung Vuong has been around as far as I can remember.  A little eatery among the Vietnamese food oasis that is Victoria Street, the restaurant provides eat-in and take away.

As a regular visitor, I’ve found their beef pho to be particularly impressive. It comes in three different sizes, like most pho eateries, with your choice of chicken, beef, both or added sausage.

A strong clear soup that lets its ingredients really speak for itself, good quality beef and a decent serving makes this a hearty meal for any occasion. It’s packed full of flavour and is one of the best tasting soups around.

Pho Hung Vuong 2 on Urbanspoon

Pho Hung Vuong has a limited menu offering, but limited choice also means you get the best of the best in terms of taste, quality and consistency.

The restaurant has a modern layout and friendly staff. I have tried just about every place on Victoria Street and I can say there is no better place for pho than here.

 

Pho Chu The

Rare beef pho for $8. Photo: Thatwelike via Flickr

Rare beef pho for $8. Photo: Thatwelike via Flickr

Mr Mai Xuan The came to Australia about 30 years ago and started a Vietnamese noodle soup restaurant called Pho Chu The. People know him as Chu The, which means Uncle The.

The flavours are noticeable just walking past the restaurant’s front door. The basil is fresh and plentiful. Oh, there are lots of other sundry items on the menu too, but you’d be crazy to come here for anything but the pho.

There are three different sizes of pho to choose from ($8 for a small, $9 for a medium and $10 for a large bowl). It comes with bean shoots and mint and there’s free tea as well.

Pho Chu The on Urbanspoon

Their phở bo dac biet (beef special) is sweet and full of umami. The broth is rich and lovely thanks to the variety of herbs used. The noodles are super soft with a delicate chew.

There are branches all across Melbourne including Boxhill, Springvale, Footscray and Richmond, but the Richmond branch is probably closest for city folk.

 

Pho Hoang Dakao

Bún bò Huế with Banh Canh (rice starch noodle) for $8. Photo: Alpha via Flickr

Bún bò Huế with Banh Canh (rice starch noodle) for $8. Photo: Alpha via Flickr

This store is a family-run Vietnamese restaurant in South East Melbourne. It was established in 1999 at the newly built Golden Plaza Shopping Centre.

Pho Hoang Dakao is a bit bigger than a lot of other restaurants in the area and they have an extensive menu if you are not a big fan of noodles.

Pho Dakao Hoang on Urbanspoon

The sizes are about the same as most other pho shops (a small for $7.50 and a large is $8.50) and they give you quite a bit of fresh beef and noodles. The menu only lists the $8.50 version, which is what you’ll get if you don’t specifically ask for the small.

The soup is very light and clear, not greasy, and the raw ingredients they use are very fresh compared to what you get in the city. It’s probably because the restaurant is located near a fresh food market.

4 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Pho’s the best dish to eat during winter – soupy and comforting :D

    I really like I Love Pho 264 in Richmond too, as well as Saigon Pho in Carlton. (:

  2. My vote goes to chu the!

  3. I Love Pho 264 Richmond is by far the best pho place in Melbourne!
    Best soup, noodles, and equally warm staff and atmosphere.
    Don’t go anywhere else!

  4. Oh I tried Pho Dakao Hoang when I was in Springvale visiting my bf’s aunt. Very memorable as we enjoyed everything there! Pho was really good! It was full of flavour while not being too salty. I shared mine with my boy friend who had the stir fried pork with dry egg noodles. Now this was something! Wok stir fried tender pork pieces with lemon grass and chilli slightly charred on some flat type of egg noodles! Finally the spring rolls were one of if not the best I’ve had. They are crispier more slender and lighter than the others. I have been meaning to go back but it’s a bit far away from the city. Shame.

Submit your comment

Please enter your name

Please enter a valid email address

Please enter your message

About

Meld Magazine was incorporated as an independent not-for-profit media outlet in September 2008 to reach out to international students in Melbourne, and provide students the opportunity to gain real work experience.

Many international students live in or around the city because of the proximity to their colleges and universities, and that was where we decided to focus our efforts first. Many of us live, work and study locally too. Our editorial team is made of both local and international students, and it has worked to our advantage in providing local content in every sense of the word.

Meld Magazine – Melbourne's international student news website © 2014 All Rights Reserved