Pho Hung is one of a number of places in a fairly decent strip of eateries along High Street Preston, in front of the Preston Market. It doesn't get the same kudos as Footscray, Springvale or Victoria Street but it's worth a visit particularly if you go on a Saturday and combine it with a visit to the market. One of the more popular dining options is Pho Hung.
Pho Hung is a fairly typical 'Vietnamese' restaurant for Melbourne. As you'd guess from the name it offers a number of different types of pho as well as other varieties of noodle soup in a menu that extends for several pages. I'd been with friends before who lived out Bundoora way (about 10 minutes drive) and was keen to pay another visit for blogging purposes.
First dish up was the pho with beef and tendon. There is one thing I particularly like about the pho here. It's not the soup, which I found lacking a bit in depth of flavour. But the beef comes with a nice pink touch so you can determine exactly how you like it. If you like it rare, eat while still pink. Prefer it a little more cooked? Leave it for a minute or two and it will continue to cook in the hot soup. I don't think it's the best pho around but it is certainly an acceptable version.
Searching for something we hadn't tried here before I ordered the bbq pork omelette. I'd have liked the omelette a bit fluffier, the pork a bit more generous, but this is a dish I generally liked and was perfectly satisfied with the version we were dished up. It was generous in size, the pork reasonably fresh and the slight crispness of the outside gave it a nice texture without resulting in a dry omelette.
One of my favourite dishes is soft shell crab. I love the flavour of the crab combined with the texture the soft, battered shell gives it. While my companions didn't feel that this time it was as good as on previous visits (they felt that the batter was lacking in much flavour and didn't add anything to the taste) I liked it. Yes, I would have preferred the batter to add a little more to this dish but it was nicely cooked, the crunchiness of the shell combining with the softness of the meat inside, and avoided the common problem of too strongly flavoured batter overwhelming the flavour of the crab.
The final dish was sizzling beef with garlic and spring onion. Nicely cooked, still sizzling for a minute or two after it hit the table and nicely flavoured. I think that one of the main attractions of these sizzling dishes is the anticipation when they hit the table. It's quite exciting with the scramble to make space on the table while avoiding any potentially splatters from the sauce.
I enjoyed our visit here. The food is not outstanding but it is pretty good, comparable to most places along, say, Victoria Road both in quality and style. While not the most welcoming service is quick and efficient and while it does get pretty crowded they seemed to cope surprisingly well with younger kids. Not one to cross town for, but I'd be more than happy with this as my local.
Food - 7.5
Ambience - 6
Service - 7
Price - 7.5
447 High Street
Preston VIC 3072
Tel: (03) 9470 1588