Phở 102 Saigon

Shop 5 Hub Arcade, 318-322 Little Collins St, Melbourne
Date visited: 29th March 2012

We saw this little shop in the Hub Arcade, opposite Chokolait and decided we had to come back to try the pho.  Phở 102 Saigon is only opened from 10am - 6pm Mon to Sat, so we came for lunch.

The shop is tiny, and you're lucky to get a seat in the lunch rush hour.  There was only one girl behind the cashier at the time, so understandably service was a little slow.  We had to sit down before the table was cleaned, and after that, the waitress came around and MerlinFan requested for the table to please be cleaned.  The waitress however only picked up the empty drink can but didn't wipe down the table although there was obviously leftover food and soup on the table.  The service however was warm and friendly.

MerlinFan had the pho beef noodle soup with beef ball.  

Pho with beef ball

The soup was delicate and all the flavours were there.  The beef was nicely seasoned and thinly sliced, although a little tougher and lesser in amount than the one in Mekong.  The bean sprouts, coriander and Thai basil were already added to the broth which is a bit of a pain if you don't like bean sprouts or coriander.

I had the pho beef noodle soup with chicken.  
Pho with chicken
The white rice noodles were perfect - silky smooth and there was a generous amount of huge slices of chicken breast.  There was also a sign in the shop that states the food has no M.S.G.  I actually preferred my chicken pho broth to be a little saltier and there were self-serve salt and pepper shakers that you could use, which I appreciated.  It was quite funny, but I tried two separate salt shakers and the salt seemed stuck to the bottom of the jar no matter how I pounded and shook it, like some kind of gag condiment holder.  Somehow I felt like the joke was on me XP maybe the salt had been sitting in there for a while.

What I really loved was the Vietnamese iced coffee with milk, also known as cà phê sữa đá.  Finely ground Vietnamese roast coffee mixed with sweetened condensed milk over ice.  It gorgeous - really sweet, strong coffee that barely diluted even as the ice melted.

Vietnamese iced coffee

Overall, the pho at Phở 102 Saigon was nice, but we preferred the broth and MerlinFan liked the beef at Mekong better.

Phở 102 Saigon on Urbanspoon
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