128 Hopkins St
So Mum has been the recipient of some of my attempts at cooking Vietnamese food; received the Morning Glory cookbook from me (purchased at Ms. Vy’s restaurant in Hoi An, thankyouverymuch); and has heard me go on about Little Saigon market and other Footscray eateries so much that finally she says “let’s do it” and we head west.
My friends J & C eat here quite often, and as I came in the door with mum, bro and bro’s girlfriend in tow, I said, “Oh, I’ve been here before.” I didn’t remember it looking quite this swish when I first visited, but that was several years and Cheap Eats mentions ago, so we find ourselves back at Hung Vuong introducing Mum to pho, positively the best of the Asian noodle soups in my unqualified opinion.
Mum and I order a small beef pho each; Bro being vegetarian goes for the vegie spring rolls – there isn’t much else on the menu for a vego I must say – and Bro’s GF (I keep wanting to type Bro’s Ho but that sounds rude!) goes for vermicelli noodles with pork (I think).
I introduce Mum to the condiments and the concept of constructing your own bowl of noodle soup, the way you want it. Hung Vuong provides us with all the usual condiments – that squirty red chilli sauce, hoisin sauce, fresh chilli, lime, thai basil, bean shoots – I was hoping for some sawtooth coriander but it was not to be.
I also order a three colour drink which bemuses the family a bit. Bro’s gf refuses to taste it, but Bro, Mum and I spend the rest of the meal hoovering it up (okay, I probably had the most of it). Dessert and drink all in one, with sweet red beans, coconut jelly and green jelly! What’s not to love? Plus, I needed it the most – someone went a little overboard with the squirting in of chilli sauce.
Well, I’m pleased to report that the pho here was delicious, and the other dishes looked good too. Mum got so inspired that she cooked up pho at home, using the recipe from Ms. Vy. I’m not sure if I can be bothered to do that when I can slurp up a rather large, full flavoured broth and cheaply filling hit of pho quite close by at Hung Vuong. But maybe there’s a guest recipe post in the making from the Fresh Bread mama?
Verdict: good stuff. Tell me where your other favourite places for pho are around Melbourne?