270 Victoria Street
Richmond VIC 3121
+61 3 9428 7797
I’ve been making all sorts of soups lately to soothe the winter blues and warm my bitter-as-of-late heart. From organic pumpkin soups to beef udon soups, I’ve tried, well, not all of them but I’m getting there. And instead of using store-bought chicken and beef stock, I’ve been making my own. With my confidence growing, I’ve been able to tackle soups that I would never have dreamt of being able to cook even six months ago. With that in mind, I’m determined to give good ol’ phở (Vietnamese beef noodle soup) a shot, much to Marty’s delight.
Unfortunately, several obstacles stand in the way of attempting to make phở from scratch. Firstly, I’m currently too busy to slave away for hours and hours in the kitchen. Secondly, where the hell do I get sandworm? Thirdly, my mum might love cooking but unfortunately she loves money – and saving money – more so whenever I mention that I’m going to be using the stove to make phở, she freaks out and starts going on and on about how electricity is so expensive which then results in a full-blown argument. Finally, it’s just easier to walk into a phở restaurant and have a bowl in front of you within minutes in exchange for a 10-dollar note.
My favourite phở restaurant is Pho Chu The in Footscray, a place worth trekking around town for. These days, I rarely go to Footscray due to time constraints but thank goodness that there is a Pho Chu The in Richmond, which is actually closer to where I live. Although the Richmond branch has probably been around for a while, this was the first I’ve heard about it so now I feel like an idiot but hey, you learn something new all the time.
I first came here with Marty earlier this year, after whinging about how we always have to go all the way to Footscray for phở and OMG, why couldn’t we just go to Richmond instead? He reluctantly agreed to go to Richmond – but just this once – and after a short tram trip, we found ourselves at the Richmond branch of Pho Chu The.
Like the Footscray Branch, this place keeps it simple. There is phở, phở and phở. And three sizes: small for $8, medium for $9 and large for $10. Oh, of course there are sundry items on the menu, too, but like anyone comes here for anything BUT phở.
Sweet, cold drinks make good accompaniments. When we were there, it was a bit warmer so the cold drinks – a Vietnamese iced coffee for me and a three-colour drink for Marty – went down a treat. Not that they wouldn’t have during the cooler months, of course.
While Marty enjoyed his large sliced beef and tendon phở, I loved my sliced beef and brisket phở in medium. For some reason, the broths tasted a bit different from the ones dished out at the Footscray branch – it was a lot cleaner which a lot of people may prefer but I like my broth with a bit more character. PCT Footscray’s broth might be clean but it still has a raw edge to it and plenty of depth. Hence, I do prefer the phở at Footscray. Apart from that, though, it was a very well executed phở and certainly a place to enjoy a phở at when I can’t be bothered with the commute to Footscray. Or be bothered making my own phở, for that matter.