Early this year, a Vietnamese restaurant opened up close to one of my work places. I had wanted to visit the restaurant many times, but was held back by my preconceptions of the place. When you consider the fact that I am half Vietnamese and live in Springvale, you may begin to understand why. Having opened in an area that does not boast of its selection of Asian restaurants, Pho 55 has created it’s own place in the local dining market.
The restaurant provides generous servings of tasty and authentic (within the constraints of locally available produce) Vietnamese cuisine for good value. Despite the somewhat limited options on the lunch menu (as I believe their dinner menu is different), Pho 55 does well to provide its patrons with a decent variety of food to chose from.
Rice noodle in soup with prawns/Hu tieu tom $11.00
The hu tieu broth was very sweet but lacked a certain dimension of flavour. The coriander and spring onion along with fried shallot reminded me of food cooked at home, however the absence of chives made the dish incomplete. Prawns were larger than your normal variety and a chunk of lettuce is included in the soup bowl for good measure to supplement the missing elements of your traditional bowl of hu tieu.
Apart from the two pieces of prawns and lettuce, the rest of the dish comprised of rice noodles (I wasn’t complaining) to help fill you up on a chilly winter day.
Rice vermicelli with grilled chicken/ Bun thit ga nuong $12.00
Served with all your traditional elements in a rice vermicelli bowl which includes fresh cucumber, bean sprouts, Vietnamese mint and pickled carrots, the rice noodle salad dish was compiled of a refreshing mix of tasty elements that was all pulled together by the nuoc mam cham (fish sauce, garlic and vinegar) dressing.
Singapore noodles with prawns and pork $11.50
The Singaporean style noodle stir fry is a typically not a Vietnamese dish if not already made obvious by the name. But akin to your typically oil laden stir fry that skimps on the greens, this one in particular was not too oily at all. The presence of adding a combination of fresh vegetables that still have a good bite as they have not been overly cooked is also a bonus.
Food at Pho 55 was better than I had expected to be. I was impressed by the friendly service, well priced menu and generous portions served with each dish that was ordered. All in all, I was impressed with the standard of food offered and would definitely consider coming back again when looking to enjoy some home food away from home.