Ah, Springvale.... having to venture into Springvale sends a shiver through my spine. The Lawyer and I sometimes have a debate over whether Springvale is better or worse than Box Hill. Both suburbs have a glut of Asian shops offering produce at low, low prices, with hordes of shoppers getting road rage as they all compete for the few parking spaces, and both have that certain odour that comes from the questionable hygiene practices by those that make their living hawking said produce.
As the Lawyer is back in town, I find myself getting roped into a trip to Springsyvale. So with a sigh, I get ready with my bling pastel pink handbag, my matching pink leather loafers and put on my Raybans and prepare myself in having my bourgeois sensibilities challenged.
Going by the theory that a busy restaurant equates to good food, we chose to eat lunch at Pho Hoang Dakao. There was a near permanent queue at PHD. But as this is a high turnover sort of place, we got a table within minutes. My prejudices of Springvale was confirmed with the very sticky and grimy floor (complete with a chicken bone underneath our table) and the rather impervious manager who dispatched the frazzled waiters to each table to attend to their needs. Inside it's big and kinda dark... they could certainly do with a few more lights.
The Lawyer ordered the fresh beef and tripe pho. I found the name of this dish rather alarming. It's FRESH beef pho.... does that mean everything else is not fresh? The Lawyer found the pho to be good... not great but not bad. He thought the beef was a tad chewy and dry (dare I say, not fresh?) but it was generous in size.
To drink, the Lawyer got a three colour drink, which like the pho, was good and unremarkable.
I went for the grilled pork and spring roll on vermicelli. This was good and reasonable. The spring rolls were nice and crispy and had a hint of MSG. The pork was a tad chewy and I had expected a little more pork than what was presented. But overall, it was a reasonable effort.
I'd say PHD is your run-of-the-mill restaurant in Springvale. It's certainly popular and I found to food to be okay. It's cheap and it's quick. I don't have anything against this place (aside from the cleanliness of the place). If there weren't so many other restaurants in Springvale, I'd might even go back.
Food - 6.5
Ambience - 5
Service - 6
Price - 9.5
Pho Hoang Dakao
17 Balmoral Ave
Telephone: 9558 5996