I’m going to have to eat my words. Hopefully not literally. For ages I’ve been citing Pho Dzung as the easiest spot to go for good pho up my end of town (you know, up the top end) and that although I think MVNH is better, Pho Dzung comes a good second.
Not only is the pho seriously msg-erific and prone to cause serious headaches and parched throats, I was actually poisoned by the food this time around. And I think the deliciousness of the pho has gone downhill too, just sayin’.
This is a fail. Service is bad (although when has it ever been good?), the place is still as popular as ever and it is a cheap eat, but desperation won’t drive me here now. I would much prefer to head down to Swanston Street and get some real food that won’t leave me feeling msg’d and rotten on the inside.
This is definitely the most popular Pho spot in Melbourne: like every other pho destination from here to the Mekong delta, it has patrons spilling from the doors and knocking each other around with their elbows trying to get first dibs for the next free table… but the thing that sets it apart is that it has the reputation for the best pho around. Even the cute jibe on the front window about Bill Clinton eating there is a hint to its popularity: it’s a Melbourne institution.
So how does it rate?
Don’t come here on a date. We were here to have a light Chinese dinner before heading out into town and there was a couple sitting next to us looking more uncomfortable with the place than with each other, which is saying something. Bokchoy Tang is never busy, which is confusing, because it has alright food and is located right inside the tourist drawcard that is Federation Square.
I’m not saying Bokchoy Tang is bad. In fact, it’s one of the easiest places to get good quality Chinese food any night of the week when you’re on your way to something in Fed Square or at the Arts Centre. In fact, it’s my go-to spot before the ballet. But being easy doesn’t necessarily equate to value for money or the best Chinese dining in town. I often come away feeling a little underwhelmed and a bit too much lighter in the pockets.
One of E’s favourite things about going to get Pho for lunch at work is making as many Pho-puns as possible. The more cringe-worthy, the better. The title is a tribute to his wit.
He totally missed out today though! We went for Pho at Melbourne Vietnam Noodle House on Swanston Street, which is the perfect distance for the walk back to work on a full pho belly. Given the recent desire to move away from Pho Dzung, citing its MSG-erific condiments and slightly wilting ingredients, H led us to MV Noodle House.