Whenever we have visitors, we mostly let them sort out their own sightseeing. I love this city, but I find it hard to think of interesting "touristy" things to do. Unlike other cities that have several must-see sights, Melbourne has charms that grow on you over time.
While we're not good with the sightseeing agenda, we do have a food agenda. This is a list of must-eat items that our visitors need to experience. On the list are things like: dumplings at Camy, a hot chocolate at Koko Black, perhaps a claypot at EC pot (I need to go back and write a post on this place!), a parma, and a big bowl of pho.
On a recent visit to Footscray, we decided to try a different pho restaurant. We walked past one that was packed with customers, always a good sign, so we took our chances and went in. The restaurant was decked out in the usual style – brightly lit with mirrored walls, menu written on the wall, and inexpensive tables and chairs. There's also two large plasma TVs mounted on the walls, providing something else to focus on apart from your reflection (which was a tad distracting).
The bowls of pho come in three different sizes – small for $6.50, medium for $7.50 and large for $8.50. The rice noodles and meat come swimming in a beef soup that has so much flavour, this is now our pho restaurant of choice. The one pictured here is a large - the Boys were hungry that night!
Apart from the 20 different styles of noodle soup, there's also the usual spring rolls and pork chops on rice and vermicelli. I believe this bowl of vermicelli was $8 (the price isn't written on the walls). It was a huge bowl of noodle, and while the sauce wasn't as tasty as in other places, it wasn't bad. I had actually ordered it because I had a hankering for some crunchy spring rolls – and didn't spot the springs rolls on the menu until after I ordered. I was a tad envious of the Boys with their bowls of pho.
The one disappointment is the tea tastes a bit strange. It may be due what they use to clean the thermoses. Both times we visited, the tea had an overwhelming taste and smell of detergent. But with three colour drinks cheaply priced at $2, and a big bowl of soup to drink after you've finished scavenging every last meat and noodle scrap from the bowl, who needs tea?
Update: they seem to have fixed the strange tasting tea! It has been fine in subsequent visits.
Hien Vuong Pasteur
144 Hopkins Street
Melbourne , VIC 3011
Phone: 03 9687 9698