Pho Bo Ga Mekong Vietnam

241 Swanston St, Melbourne 3000.
Date visited: 2nd March 2012

I am ashamed to say, after living over eleven years in Melbourne CBD, I have never been to Mekong.  Okay, so sue me - every time I walk by along Swanston St looking for a place to dine, it always looks so packed and crowded, so I never bothered, thinking I'll never get a seat anyway.

Last night, MerlinFan and I went for dinner with Hui, and upon walking past Mekong, she found out incredulously (VERY incredulously) that we had never tried the pho.  So that was how we ended up finally trying out the pho here.

The place was as always, packed full.  There was a couple of girls just leaving, so the waitress told us we could have their table - I felt bad, we kinda stood there hovering, waiting for the girl to leave <not so subtle hint>  @_@  I can't say much for the ambiance of the place - very simple, packed and noisy.  That was a good sign though - that meant to me that people were coming here just for the good food.

We had a flask of hot Chinese tea on each table which we were meant to serve ourselves.  Not a problem.  The menu was simple enough, one side in English and the other in Vietnamese.  At Hui's recommendation, I tried the rice noodle soup with chicken drumstick and MerlinFan had the rice noodle soup with beef. Hui herself had the rice noodle soup with chicken breast.

Rice noodle with chicken drumstick

Now, I have never tried pho in my life, so unfortunately I cannot claim to be able to judge the authenticity of the dish.  But if you're just looking for a tasty rice noodle in broth dish, then... Mmm!  Where have I been all these years?  The soup had the right amount of salt and flavouring, and as you can see, there was a generous amount of chicken (I had expected a measly skinny drumstick, btw)

Each dish also came with a slice of lemon and bean sprouts, which none of us touched as none of us liked bean sprouts... LOL.

MerlinFan enjoyed her rice noodle with beef too.  At first she was a bit apprehensive as it looked quite pink (she has a phobia for raw beef) but when she tasted it, it was really tender and perfectly flavoured.  Her beef was beautifully and thinly sliced, and didn't have the rubbery tendon-ous feel of some beef slices we have come to brand as D.O.A (aka animals that have reached rigor mortis before they were even butchered).

Rice noodle with beef 
Overall, very nice.  The staff are quick, brisk and down-to-business, the service not differing much from any Asian restaurant overseas.  I would be back here for a quick, non-fussy but yummy bowl of steaming hot pho.

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  1. Nice pics! I regret not asking for a taste of your chicken pho! :(

    1. Me too! See, I had assumed it was the same thing only with beef...