I got the heads up about Phở Ta from Consider the Sauce and I was super keen to check it out. Located not on the usual strip, but on Nicholson Street below the mall. There are no other Vietnamese restaurants in the immediate vicinity. This is for people in the know willing the venture out of the way. And the road less trodden is worth a visit.
Phở Ta is a pure soup house – read forgot getting anything vegetarian here. There is traditional phở, drinks (soft drinks, 3 coloured drinks and bean and soy varieties) and that was the entire menu, the venue is small and well lit, but extremely light on ambiance (if you’ll pardon the pun) perhaps that is because it is utilitarian. There are no faux plants, landscape paintings of Vietnam or waving cats, less than 10 tables….it’s pretty small.
I’ve been there twice and each time it’s been pretty much dead, but that is ok because it guarantees a quiet meal away from noisy families and you won’t be waiting for a table.
Three sizes are available Small = $7.50, Medium $8.50 and large 9.50, with multiple variations of Beef with all the usual versions (brisket, beef balls, tendon, tripe).
I had the rare beef and brisket which is always a good indicator of quality of the cuts of meat because you can really see what you’re eating.
The beef was thinly sliced as it needs to be for a rare beef Pho to enable it to cook in front of you in the hot broth.
I really liked the addition of very finely chopped onion, coriander, basil and spring onion on top of the soup, it mixes up the well-worn classic a bit and gets bonus points for being a little different
I’ve actually visited here twice and found the stock to be quite different on both occasions, the first being transparent and light on the salt with a weaker flavor and the second packing a bit more of a punch.
The sides were all of the usual: chilli oil, Hoisin sauce, and the bean sprouts, lime and chilli was nice and fresh. The noodles were a fraction thinner than usual which doesn’t really change the eating experience that much.
If you’re looking to step away from the ever popular Hopkins st, than make sure you check it out.
Stock: 3 – I liked the transparency, but a little light on flavour, big difference in flavour the two times.
Inside: 4 – Thinly cut meat with no fat
On the side: 4 – chilli is fresh with bite, crunchy sprouts, fresh herbs and lime.
Extras: 2 – Noodles were fine, the tea was decent
131 Nicholson Street Footscray, VIC
03 9041 2607