The quest for the perfect bowl of pho – Vietnamese noodle soup - can be hit and miss on Richmond’s bustling Victoria Street. Although this iconic strip is chock-full of Vietnamese restaurants, groceries and $2 shops, the quality of the food served up varies greatly and with so many places to choose from the search can be overwhelming.
Located at the Church Street end of Victoria Street, Pho Chu The is an unassuming restaurant that dishes up steaming bowls of pho day and night to eager customers. There is nothing glamorous about this little restaurant but that’s not the focus here. The elements that make a great pho: fragrant broth, tender meat and silky noodles, is what keeps patrons coming back in droves.
The menu consists of a selection of soups – chicken, beef or vegetarian – and a variety of spring rolls. The beef pho is a favourite. Super-fresh rice noodles and thinly sliced beef floats in a delicious broth flavoured with star anise and a variety of other aromatics. The dish is garnished with shaved onion, a flourish of coriander and comes with a side of Vietnamese mint, bean sprouts and lemon. Pile in the fresh chili at your leisure. A serve of thin and deliciously crunchy prawn spring rolls, served with lettuce leaves to wrap around them, is the perfect accompaniment.
Once you’ve slurped your way through a bowl of Pho Chu The’s delicious noodle soup, you’ll be hooked. And at a cool $8.50 a bowl, this is one addiction most Melbournians can afford to succumb to.