I’ve found myself in Springvale a lot recently. After my last “pho” post at Pho Hoang Dakao, I’ve clocked up at least five separate visits for shopping/eating in the span of just a few weeks – with most grocery stores closed for the Christmas holidays, Springvale remains a reliable source of fresh meat and vegetables.
I went there with just mum the other day which is a rare occurrence. It turned into a good ‘what’s up in your life?’ talk, as we’d both been preoccupied with our busy lifestyles lately. Aside from shopping, we grabbed a quick bite at our old favourite – Pho Hung Vuong.
Pho Hung Vuong is a tiny place, a lot smaller than the aforementioned Pho Hoang Dakao, with the menu being accordingly smaller as well. They serve pho and a few traditional Vietnamese dishes, but none of the other regular staples of such establishments – spring rolls, rice and stir-fry are all noticeably absent.
I ordered my usual – sliced beef with rice noodles ($7.50 for a “small” serve). I found Pho Hung Vuong provided a more generous serving of beef compared to Pho Hoang Dakao at the expense of a slightly less noodles. The beef was nicely and evenly cut, and didn’t shrivel up in the hot soup.
Mum ordered her usual as well – the “Special beef with rice noodles” (also $7.50). I don’t usually order this, as I prefer just the meat instead of the assorted cuts (tripe, tendons, etc.) present in her dish. Overall, it was near identical to my dish except for the textural differences from the “special” ingredients.
As always, we had the bean shoots cooked, not being fans of the raw variety. If you would like more bean shoots, it’s possible to get another serving (as we had done in the past), although you may also get a blank stare and a slightly unhappy face for your trouble.
For drinks, I had a Vietnamese white iced coffee. I find Vietnamese coffee to be quite strong (which I like) although it does also come with a lot of condensed milk, which makes it very sweet. Pho Hung Vuong’s version comes with crushed ice as well as ice cubes, which results in a cooler, icier, but potentially thinner coffee. I definitely preferred this version over Pho Hoang Dakao’s.
It turned out to be a quick, tasty meal and a very concise catch up, as we had a lot to do that day – last minute Christmas shopping for my kid cousins. I’ve always found shopping for kids to be a chore, and the only way to stop me from complaining is to stuff my stomach full of good food beforehand!
In closing, if you’re just out for good pho, I would recommend Pho Hung Vuong over Pho Hoang Dakao. Their beef is just that little bit better and the serving size and prices are about equal. However, if you or your companions are looking for entrees and rice dishes as an alternative then definitely head over to Pho Hoang Dakao.
Question time: Do you enjoy Christmas and kids shopping? Would you rather just give money than buying gifts?
Pho Hung Vuong
Phone: (03) 9558 5147
Shop 2 / 15 Balmoral Avenue, Springvale VIC 3171