Our mates from Adelaide were in town and a dinner had been organised at the Pho Hung in Springvale at 7pm. Unfortunately, we weren’t going to make it there in time for the dinner booking so Dave and I had pho in Northcote instead with the intention of meeting up with the gang later on in the city.
We choose Pho Bang Bang, partially because of the name, but also because it was unbearably cold and windy outside and it was the closest Vietnamese place from where we parked the car. As soon as I stepped into the place, I had a strange déjà vu feeling.
The place looked strangely familiar – mirrors along the walls, the counter at the back, kitchen on one side and the way to the bathroom on the other side, with an illuminated menu board. The thing that gave it away was the menu and the green chopsticks! This place has the same layout as Pho Hung in Preston!
A nice man with a big smile gestured to a table and brought over a menu and some tea. Dave got some fried rice with pork while I stuck to the staple beef and brisket pho ba. Unfortunately, unlike Pho Hung in Preston, they did not have a small size, only medium or large (which doesn’t make sense because you can’t have medium without a small and large size). I went with a medium size.
It came out really quickly, probably because they weren’t very busy, and the bowl was huge! Not bad for $9! After the pho ritual, I tucked in and enjoyed the wholesome goodness. The flavour and colour were very similar to Pho Hung – the owners must be friends or relatives. Because the serving was so big, I shared it with Dave and we were both happy.
After my recent experience at Hien Vuong, I was scared that I’d get an MSG headache. On the way home, I was stopped for a random breath test with the police and asked if the breathalyser could pick up MSG as well. After my one, long continuous breath, the policewoman replied, “Nope, you’re all clear for MSG – have a good night!”
Phew! What a relief… even a few hours after the soup, I didn’t develop the thirst or the headache. Therefore, Pho Bang Bang gets my tick of approval!