Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pho Dzung City Noodle Shop, Melbourne CBD by Big Fil

There are a few places serving pho in the city, mainly in a small strip along Swanston Street between Little Bourke and Lonsdale. Situated a bit away from the others is Pho Dzung City Noodle Store, a smallish noodle shop on Swanston Street.

Now pho is more often Snooze's choice of meal than my own, something she usually has at least once a week. However, after having imposed a semi-dictatorial ban on Melbourne cafes until the end of October (I like Melbourne cafes a lot, but it feels like I've been to hundreds in the last couple of years) and a positive recent experience at Pho Chu The, when I was casting a eye for somewhere new Pho Dzung seemed like a pretty good option for a quick lunch.

Pho Dzung has a fairly clinical feel both inside and out compared to the few specialist pho places I've tried mainly in Richmond. It's white, it's light and it's bright. However, in a promising sign it was also fairly busy with a mixture of Asian and local suit clientele, resulting in a bit of a buzz to the atmosphere.

We were lucky to get one of the last remaining free tables and quickly turned to the menu. Here it's mainly about the pho but there are also a few other options available, such as the usual spring and paper rolls and a couple of broken rice dishes. After a few minutes reflection I decided to go with the beef brisket, Snooze the sliced chicken.

Bowls come in three sizes and after not specifying the size we quickly received our regular sized bowls. Hmmm, all I can say is if these are regular size put me down for small next time. While not a huge lunchtime eater if it's put in front of me I'll normally finish, but even I was struggling let alone Snooze.

Unfortunately I didn't think the quality lived up to the quantity. Not that it was bad more just on the mediocre side. In a bit of a turnaround to our normal tastes I thought the beef broth tasted a little salty although Snooze didn't have the same issue with the chicken. But the biggest issue was with the meat. Both of us ignored the rare meat options which may have been a mistake. While the meat wasn't too bad when it hit the table sitting in the hot broth meant that it continued to cook, becoming overcooked while we were trying to slurp it down. In retrospect going with the rare beef option would probably have been a much better option.

There are a few Vietnamese style drink options as well as the normal complementary tea. I like my three colours drink and always order it when available, but then I'm sucker for anything tasting of coconut.

Service is very fast, it's not too bad a place to eat and the price is certainly right. However, while I think it's a reasonable option if you are stuck in the city, it was further evidence that if you want good pho in Melbourne you are better off heading to the suburbs: Richmond, Footscray or Springvale.

Food - 6.5
Atmosphere - 6.5
Service - 7
Price - 7.5

234 Russell Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9663 8885

Pho Dzung City Noodle Shop on Urbanspoon

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