A quality phở oasis
Phở Victoria has established a unique proximity, located half-way between Footscray and Victoria St Richmond (two of the Vietnamese food havens of Melbourne) in what can otherwise be described as a ‘phở wasteland’.
Attracting a mix of locals, Queen Vic market visitors (100 metres away) and Prudence visitors (a popular bar two doors away) ensures this place is rarely quiet. A complete lack of competition with other Vietnamese restaurants can sometimes lead to reduced quality, but this is not the case for Phở Victoria.
The menu is extensive, with all the usual Vietnamese dishes, however looking around (especially during the day) the crowd is well and truly here for the phở . The offering is variations of beef, but it also says vegetarian stock is available which I’ll be sure to check-out in the future.
Range of sides was standard: chilli oil, chilli sauce, hoisin and soy. Fresh chilli is available on request and is clearly freshly cut (very important).
Ordering the standard brisket and beef balls it arrived promptly with finely chopped spring and purple onions on top.
Great stock, slightly heavier in flavour and very cloudy it didn’t really need much in the way of sauces to enhance it which is testament to the quality, beef slices were of medium thickness, still thin enough to cook properly through In the hot broth and contained some fat.
Noodles were a bit soft, I suspect they might have been added when then the stock was very hot, the upside is the beef balls were properly cooked through and fairly tender (for a processed, out of the packed beef ball).
The produce on the side was pretty fresh, sprouts were good, basil wasn’t bad and there was a surprising inclusion of a slice of orange instead of lemon, which was extremely unusual…but is not actually a bad thing.
Overall Pho Victoria is a surprise hit, standing well on it’s own despite the total lack of competition.
- Stock: 4 – complex and strong, no condiments required.
- Inside: 3 – meat was fine onion on top keeps it interesting.
- On the side: 4 – Everything was fresh, chilli on demand keeps it fresh.
- Extras: 4 – Good service, tea is ok, some ambiance and worth a revisit.