Pho Bo Gai Mekong
241 Swanston Street, Melbourne (map)
Praise the Lord for pho! It's filling and makes your tastebuds tango, yet tastes clean and refreshing. It's brilliant at getting rid of a hangover or a cold. Plus it's generally pretty healthy and CHEAP like the budgie! What other dish can compete??
When I went to Hanoi last year I had tons of the stuff. Here in Melbourne (itself home to some damn fine pho, according to this Hanoi food blogger), when the pho craving hits in the CBD, I tend to go to good ol' Mekong on Swanston.
The yellow sign in the modest shopfront window reads "President Clinton had 2 bowls. How many can you have...". Far too many tables are crammed into the shabby interior and the staff tend to give you fairly short shrift, but that doesn't deter the punters. At these prices ($7 for a bowl that will easily leave you patting your tummy with contentment) and with pho so tasty, it's no wonder.
Does anyone know whether Bill actually ate at this particular venue?!
Yes, I rather like to slather my pho bo (beef pho) with sauces before the tearing of the Vietnamese mint and the sprinkling of bean shoots.
By the way, for those in the vicinity of Swan Street Richmond, I'd like to plug the Vietnamese restaurant Love Pho that just opened on Saturday a few doors down from Flavours of Lakhoum. I wandered in there on Saturday afternoon to pick up the take away menu, and the staff were extremely sweet and friendly and nervous about their opening day. The site once housed a very good suburban Indian restaurant called Swami that closed, so I'm hoping that locals will give this place a chance instead of automatically heading up to Victoria Street. I'll review their pho soon!