Noble Park is a suburb that lies in-between two major food destinations, paling in comparison. How can you compare with the Vietnamese food in Springvale, or the Afghan or Ethiopian food in Dandenong? You can’t. Not really. Still, there are a handful of local restaurants doing well enough to attract locals in for dinner during the week, saving them from driving down the road to a more renowned culinary destination.
Street Pho is one of the few restaurants in the heart of Noble Park plying their trade in the evening. They don’t pretend to be a specialist pho restaurant in the style of Springvale’s Pho Hung Vuong, serving up some of the best pho in Melbourne. They’re a simple family-run restaurant offering a large selection of Vietnamese dishes, a jack-of-all-trades to suit the tastes of all the locals who dine there.
We stopped by one evening on our way to a date night at the Dandenong Festival of Lights…which coincidentally, was very underwhelming for someone like myself who’s been in China during the lantern festival. While I personally wouldn’t rush back to it, but I can see the appeal for those who have never visited and may never visit China.
We started by sharing my favourite drink at Vietnamese restaurants – a Che Ba Mau, or three colour drink. While the grass jelly, red bean and mung bean is generally much of a muchness at most restaurants, I did like the slight twist that Street Pho gave to the drink with the addition of some freshly roasted peanuts on top for a slight crunch. The only downside is that they put so much shaved ice in the drink that it becomes quite impossible to mix the ingredients together.
K’s a pho traditionalist and opted for the Pho Bo, or rare beef noodle soup. The broth was a bit oilier and not as clear than I would personally prefer, but there was a good depth of flavour. It’s clear that Street Pho make their own pho stock from scratch. Highlight? The slippery noodles with a good amount of bite made just for slurping.
I chose the Bun Bo Hue, or rare beef spicy noodle soup as it was a cold night and I wanted the spice to warm me up before we went on our outdoorsy date. Unfortunately, there wasn’t quite as much spice as I would like, and I found myself adding more chilli to the soup. On a high note, the beef was beautifully tender.
Street Pho is a pretty good local restaurant for those who live around Noble Park. However if you want truly fantastic Vietnamese food, some of the best in Melbourne, you should be driving five minutes down the road to Springvale instead.
Having said all that, I would be absolutely rapt to find a Vietnamese restaurant of the same quality as Street Pho in the local neighbourhood next year when we move out of my family home to a suburb closer into the city. Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll be quite that lucky!
Street Pho is located at 24A Douglas Street in Noble Park, Melbourne.