I have a confession to make: I’m addicted to phở.
Alcohol, smokes, drugs — meh. But put a steaming bowl of that delicious clovey-beefy-noodly goodness in front of me and I’ll be frothing at the mouth like a dehydrated bloodhound.
After three trips to Vietnam, I feel I’m somewhat qualified to rate a phở. And in Melbourne we’re lucky enough to have many fine, authentic phở establishments — and more seem to be popping up every day.
My personal favourite is Saigon Pho in Footscray. Like most phở shops, this place is simple and cheap and serves phở almost exclusively. My standard order is ‘small rare beef’, but you can get your soup in three different sizes (ranging from ‘small’ = big, to ‘large’ = bucket) with all sorts of meaty combinations — including animal innards if you so desire. Ply it with Vietnamese basil and bean shoots, and if you’re brave you can test out the various chilli enhancements on offer. Vegetarians can order the meatless version (I doubt this even exists in Vietnam).
The perfect dessert with this meal is actually a drink; a ‘three-colour drink’, to be precise. Ice, coconut, red beans, sweet beany paste, green wormy things — what’s not to love? Seriously, try it. It might look like indigestion, but your tastebuds will thank you.
Address: 73A Nicholson St, Footscray 3011
Tel: 9689 8806
Opening hours: 8.30am–8.30pm every day
Damage: $8–$10 ($15 will get you a feast)