Chu The

92 Hopkins Street
Footscray VIC 3011
+61 3 9687 8265

So Martin’s been telling me about this super-awesome pho restaurant located in the arse end of Hopkins Street, Footscray. And although he’s been told by other Viets that this restaurant, Chu The, has ‘gone to sht’ that did not stop Adam and I from making our way down there prior to the ANZAC day AFL match.

The dinghy place was packed like a leaky Australia-bound boat when we arrived just after 1pm, bar a table right at the back… and literally about a metre away from the kitchen where I could see and smell EVERYTHING. Trying my best to ignore the stench of raw meat and exercising a bit of willful blindness by ensuring that my eyes did not linger on the overflowing bins too long, I focused my attention on the menu board which didn’t really offer much apart from its specialty: pho. And lots of it. Both Adam and I asked for a sliced rare beef pho, without knowing how much it was or whether it came in different sizes. Then the waiter simply asked, ‘medium, okay?’ before hurrying off upon our nods.

Introducing Chu The’s medium-sized sliced rare beef pho ($8.50). Now I don’t really want to talk it up but frankly, it was the best pho I’ve had in a very long time. Okay, so they might have been sloppy with the presentation (broth spills lingered around the edge of my bowl unwiped) and they might have been tight with the herbage (bean shoots, mangy stalks of basil and a wedge of lemon) but once you tasted the well-cooked rice noodles, the still-pink chunks of sliced beef fillet swimming in a rich, complex, minimal E621-induced broth which can only be described as ‘pure’ and tasty, you can’t really complain.

Who cares if this place fails to meet hygiene standards? Who cares if it smells a bit ‘funny’? If pho this delicious is considered ‘gone to sht’, then I’ll be back in no time!

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