Melbournians seem to always be on the hunt for the best noodle dish. There’s the question of where to get the most authentic laksa (Laksa King, hands down), the hunt for the top ramen (DonToo REPRESENT!), and of course, the location of the best bowl of slurpalicious pho. I Love Pho 264, formerly Pho Chu The, was our destination today. They clearly do love their pho here, because aside from spring rolls and a selection of colourful drinks, pho is the only other thing they serve.
Walking in at 11am on a Saturday morning, the shop was already buzzing with customers getting their pho-fix. We were promptly waved towards a table, and before we had even settled ourselves, a waiter was already standing expectantly at our table, ordering pad in hand.
‘What would you like?’ he asked.
I glanced desperately at the board on the wall – clearly the only menu there was, and blurted out: ‘special beef pho!’ He nodded and scribbled on his note pad. ‘Anything else?’
I panicked again. To all my beloved readers, let this be a warning – know what you want before you even step foot into the store!
Two agonising minutes later, the waiter walked away with our order, and both of us probably breathed a sigh of relief.
|Special Beef Pho ($9)|
Equally as quickly, our bowl of Special Beef Pho ($9, one size) arrived on our table. I loved how they gave us a smaller bowl for sharing without us having to ask. Digging through the unreasonably large bowl, we found a wide selection of beefy treats, including brisket, tripe, tendon, beef balls, and rare sliced beef. Slurped down with the sweet and light soup, it made for an invigorating start to our day.
The condiments that came with the pho were stock standard – thai basil, bean sprouts, and lemon wedges. They were definitely acceptable as far as condiments go, though I wouldn’t mind if the thai basil was a tad fresher.
|Pork Spring Rolls ($8 for 6)|
We also grabbed ourselves a serve of Pork Spring Rolls ($8 for 6). I was so eager to eat these that I grabbed one, wrapped it in a lettuce leaf, and took a super-crunchy bite before remembering that I was a food blogger! After some hasty shots (which unfortunately includes Chris’ hairy arm in the background), I dug right back in. These spring rolls were so fresh, so crispy, and so, so good wrapped in lettuce and dipped in nuoc cham (fish sauce) that I doubt I’ll ever want Chinese spring rolls again!
So how does this version of pho compared to the ones I’ve had in the past? I was definitely yummy, though a little more noodle to soak up the soup wouldn’t go astray. I think that in the end, I would marginally prefer Pho Dzung, which not only had less MSG (if not none at all) in their soup, but also has a convenient city location. But I Love Pho 246 comes in at a close second, and today’s meal made me a very happy gal.
Rating: 13/20 – slurpalicious!