Following the urban sprawl in Melbourne’s northern corridor are the hopes of new business owners, all ready to make their millions from the inhabitants of the area’s new housing estates. Among one of these businesses is Pho Sunday Rose, a new Vietnamese eatery nestled in the metaphorical armpit of a Woolies shopping centre near South Morang’s Plenty Valley mall.
Once you walk in, you’re greeted by a scene of bling-meets-humbleness: a glistening central chandelier shining over scenes of basic Vietnamese life. Shortly after you digest the visual dichotomy, the sweet-smiling and friendly young staff sweep you past a sea of tables and chairs, which are clean and simple, to a table meant to accommodate you…and your extended family. And to top off the authenticity, you glance up and catch a glimpse of the ever present Maneki-neko cat, waving its paw at you from the counter. Ahhhh. Welcome to the Vietnamese cafe-cum-restaurant.
Onto the food. Hubby Bear ordered the ‘Homemade’ Steamed Dim Sims ($8.00/4pcs) and, as you can see from the photo, they’re nothing miraculous to look at (but they never are!), yet were definitely worth chewing on! My carnivorous other-half was pleased with the level of flavour the meat had within itself – without having to drown them in soy sauce – and said he’d definitely get them again. Two thumbs up here!
I ordered the Vegetarian Rice Paper Rolls ($8.00/4pcs) which were good, not more, not less. The filling of the rolls were decent, but I wasn’t a fan of the dipping sauce they brought out with them, it was a bit funky for my taste. So I resorted to the hoison sauce they had on the table. One thumb up 😉
Hubby was ready for a steaming hot bowl of Beef Pho ($10.00). Note to those unfamiliar with this Vietnamese dish: it’s not pronounced foe. It’s fuuuh–ahhh! 😉 Hubby was a bit reticent at the start, wanting to digest a bit of his meal before he passed judgement. But as he slurped away, he slowly revealed to me his thoughts. Despite only have a couple of slices of beef for a bowl that size, and the actual broth not having the depth of flavour he expected (which lends itself to perhaps being made from a stock cube, and not by the more time consuming – yet more rewarding – method of boiling broth bones and spices) — it was good for the price. Maybe half a thumbs up.
My mission to find a decent Rice Vermicilli with Vegetarian Spring Rolls ($10.00) appeared to have been achieved. They filled my bowl more generously than what other Vietnamese restaurants typically do, so I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived at the table. The noodles were fine, the raw ingredients were crunchy and fresh, and the egg rolls did the job. But if only the nuac-mum sauce was less watered down and more spicy, I would’ve been totally stoked! Again though, for the price, it was good. One and a half thumbs up! 😛
For what it is, for the food and service you get – this place is pretty good. We’re more than willing to trek back to try more, and hope to discover stronger, more impressive flavours in their other dishes. What do we recomend you do? If you’re after a cheap yet filling meal, and you’re in the area, by all means go!
Address: Shop 14, 330-342 McDonalds Road, South Morang VIC 3752
Tip! The condiments left on each table are usually a mixture of hoison sauce, chilli sauce, chilli flakes – among others – and can be generously added to your pho to intensify the flavour to your liking.