234B Russell St
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9663 8885
I’m slowly moving away from my blogging hiatus now that I’ve got no more uni work to worry about until next year (stressing over results won’t happen until December). Granted, it has been almost a fortnight since I submitted my last assignment for the year and you’d think that I would have started blogging much earlier. However, a nasty virus somehow followed me all the way from New Zealand (not talking about the All Blacks either) so I’ve been copping a nose that’s leakier than a tinny, a cough that’s drier than the Sahara and headaches more painful than these metaphors. I’m a lot better now after a lot of rest and water, as prescribed by the GP, but I should also credit phở for aiding in my recovery.
I’m not a fan of Melbourne CBD’s Vietnamese restaurants. At best, their food offerings are mediocre and the reasons why they’re survive is due to their location on Swanston Street and the fact that a lot of city dwellers can’t be bothered going to Footscray or Richmond for the real deal. That said, if you’re willing to walk 1-2 blocks to Pho Dzung, then you’re unlikely to be disappointed.
Pho Dzung has been around for as long as I could remember but I stepped into the unassuming shop front for the first time only last week, a remarkable feat for someone who spends most of her time in the city AND loves Vietnamese food. It is open from 9am through to 10pm every day which means that you can get your phở fix pretty much any time.
The first time I was there, I had the medium-sized sliced rare beef phở. At $9.90, you get a generous amount of beef and noodles which makes it a reasonably-priced meal. Hungry folk could hardly do worse at $10.90 for a large bowl and I am pretty sure they now have small bowls for $8.90. The broth might not have had a lot of depth and the beef was perhaps a bit too tender for my liking (yes, there is such a thing!) but it was otherwise a tasty meal. My favourite bit was the slippery ribbons of rice noodles which were perfectly al dente – probably the best I’ve had at any Vietnamese restaurant.
While Pho Dzung does not make it on my list of top Vietnamese restaurants, it is miles better than any of the other city restaurants. Its relatively ‘out of the way’ location means that it does not attract crowds like Mekong et al but hey, I prefer to enjoy my phở in more peaceful surrounds especially when I’m nursing a sore, sore head.