MELBOURNE | Pho Hung is located on a little sliver of High Street in Preston, just around the corner from Preston Market, that’s become somewhat of a hub for Vietnamese restaurants. There’s a lot of competition in this area, but Pho Hung is considered by many to be the best of the bunch, and for good reason. Since opening in 2000, it’s been dishing up some of the best pho north of the Yarra.
The space is typical of many an “Asian” restaurant – a no-nonsense interior filled with minimal decoration and simple tables and chairs. You’re greeted with a smile and handed the menus along with a complimentary flask of green tea. The menu is extensive, with over 300 items, but one look around and it’s obvious what most people are coming here for. There are several pho options available, with different combinations of chicken and beef depending on what you like. We opted for a bowl of the sliced beef and beef brisket, and a bowl of the same with the addition of beef tendon. The clear and aromatic broth is fantastic, the kind of broth you’d happily enjoy even if there was nothing in it. But there is something in it – a lot. There’s a generous serve of meat and it’s all tender and full of flavour. Noodles are also generous, and the usual assortment of mint, basil, been sprouts, chillies and sauces is made available for you to get your bowl of pho just the way you like.
Other dishes include things like rice paper rolls, XO pipis, pork omelettes, and what we opted for (even though we didn’t really need it given the size of the pho bowls) the deliciously light and fresh banh hoi nem nuong. It’s Vietnamese steamed pork meatballs with steamed rice noodle cake, lettuce, mint and fish sauce. Grab a piece of lettuce, put in your ingredients, wrap it all up and enjoy.
You’ll notice that Pho Hung advertises itself as a Vietnamese and Chinese restaurant, and as well as Vietnamese favourites you’ll also find “accessible” Chinese dishes like beef and black bean, lemon chicken, and fried rice. Does anyone even order these dishes? With all of the amazing authentic Vietnamese food on the menu, it’d be a travesty if they did. We suppose it placates someone, somewhere?
When people think of Vietnamese food in Melbourne, minds turn to Richmond, Footscray, and Springvale (Pho Hung has a sister restaurant in Springvale), but places like Pho Hung prove that there are gems to be found elsewhere if you know where to look.
447 High Street
Telephone: (03) 9470 1588
Sun – Mon: 9:30am to 10:00pm