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Pho 888 Box Hill on Station Street, is one of the few Vietnamese restaurants in Box Hill. Primarily serving Pho, it does have a small selection of rice dishes and entrees as well. The restaurant is one of your typical Pho joints that you may find on Victoria Street, Richmond or Springvale, how does it compare? Lets see

I ordered the Beef sausage Pho just to try something a bit different (a bit unusual), the soup base lacks a bit of flavour and I also noticed they do not add coriander as a garnish to their soup. That’s not to say the soup was bland, it definitely has a nice flavour to it but compared with the greats in Melbourne, it is just a bit lacking.

The plentiful of onions they add are very strong in taste, probably too much onions for my liking but some might be preferential to their generosity. The beef sausage falls apart very easily, I’m not sure how it’s made because it’s almost like eating mince meat with a bit of pepper balls as seasoning. Not the best sausage I must admit, I think the beef and chicken would actually taste better together.

Finding good Vietnamese food in Box Hill is a challenge, so my opinion on Pho 888 is that it’s sufficient but if you miss great Vietnamese food from places in Richmond and Springvale, or maybe even Footscray, you may be a bit disappointed.

Pho 888 Box Hill on Urbanspoon

Pho 888 Box Hill

552 Station Street
Box Hill VIC 3128

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First Taste is one of my favourite restaurants in Springvale. I love the claypot rice, absolutely adore it. Being able to scrape the rice from the sides is just a treat. I never knew there was a First Taste in Box Hill, and now it’s even more convenient to dine and order my favourite Black Pepper Beef Claypot Rice.

What is noticed is slightly different from the Springvale eatery is that they use less or sometimes none at all of coriander and they don’t leave the claypot bowls to cook as long. What you have is less crispy rice but still ridiculously hot, and the lacking flavour from the coriander. However everything else is basically the same, the beef is nice and tender with a pleasant fragrance and taste of pepper on the tongue. First Taste also provides a generous serving of sauce on top.

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I’m not a big fan of First Taste’s other claypot dishes though. The chicken, Chinese sausage and mushroom with soy sauce isn’t too my liking. It’s one of those slightly herbal tinged dishes, and I’m not fond of Chinese sausage with soy and of course the big mushrooms. That’s not to say it’s not cooked well, I definitely say for those that like these kind of dishes would find this perfectly satisfying. Again, they don’t leave the claypots to cook long enough so the sides and bottom of the claypot bowl aren’t as crispy.

Impressions

First Taste Box Hill is much like it’s brother (or sister) in Springvale. Slightly varied but familiarity is key here and you can’t find better Claypot rice anywhere else. Yes even Claypot King.

First Taste on Urbanspoon

First Taste
604 Station Street
Box Hill VIC 03128

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Pho Hung Vuong has been around ever since I can remember.  Located in Springvale, the South East’s bustling Vietnamese community, has one of the most popular Vietnamese restaurants in Victoria. Not only is it always packed full of people, but is well known for its delicious and authentic Pho. It used to have a few other restaurants, one on Victoria Street, Richmond, I think it’s called Pho Hung Vuong 2 (Original!) but I’m not too sure if there are owned by the same people.

Pho Hung Vuong doesn’t go out of its way to impress you, the place looks like it hasn’t been maintained since the shopping centre opened way back when. Although it’s not the most pleasant experience, the food does more than make up for it.

Everybody that visits Pho Hung Vuong comes for their famous Pho. In three different sizes, like most Pho eateries, small, medium and large, with your choice of chicken, beef, mixed or even with added sausage. There are quite a few other ingredients you can add to your order but the above mentioned ones are the most popular.

What makes their Pho so good is the soup. It is packed full of flavour, I don’t know if it’s also packed full of MSG (Probably) but it is one of the best tasting soups around so it’s hard to make a fuss about it. The chicken/beef are perfectly cooked, with the beef gently cooking in the hot soup while you eat. It’s tender and delicious, what more could you ask for.

Of course they just don’t serve Pho, as it is a Vietnamese restaurant you can get the Fried Pork/Chicken dishes with Vietnamese salad/vegetables and rice, and all the other standards you would normally find in a Vietnamese eatery. My lack of discussion over their other food isn’t meant to be an indication of the quality of their other dishes. It’s by all means quite good. It’s just when you come to Pho Hung Vuong, you definitely come for the Pho.

You really would be hard pressed to find a better Pho restaurant in Victoria.

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Pho Hung Vuong 

Shop 2 / 15 Balmoral Avenue
Springvale VIC 3171

03 9558 5147

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Van Mai is another popular Vietnamese eatery along the bustling Victoria Street, Richmond. In my attempt to seek out and try many of the Vietnamese Restaurants in Richmond, Van Mai on Urbanspoon seemed like a very popular place to try. They have a wide selection of dishes to choose from but of course, I had to choose my favourite Vietnamese dish  (or as close to).

I love Crispy Chicken with Tomato Rice at Walrus (Springvale) and so my adventure to try out a dish that matches or even possibly tops that dish begins. Van Mai doesn’t have Crispy Chicken withTomato Rice but they do have Diced Pepper Beef with Tomato Rice dish.

I absolutely loved the flavour of this dish. The beef was packed full of flavour, it was slightly sweet, nicely marinated and had a pleasant pepper taste that didn’t overwhelm the natural beef flavour.  One little con was that it was a tad too salty but eaten with the fresh lettuce, tomato and cucumber it balanced things out.

I pretty much only order Crispy Chicken with Tomato Rice because of the Tomato Rice. At Walrus it’s a vibrant red colour with stir fried with egg, at Van Mai it’s slightly darker and oilier.  However, the taste is almost identical. Again, my only complaint is that it’s a tad too oily and I was wiping my mouth with a napkin constantly.

Other than the oiliness, the food they serve is delicious. Would definitely come back to try their other dishes.

Van Mai on Urbanspoon

Van Mai

372 Victoria St
Richmond VIC 3121

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I Love Pho is located in the heart of the Richmond-Vietnamese community. On Victoria St, I Love Pho is a popular destination to order some delicious Pho. It appears it only does indeed serve Pho, but please correct me if I’m wrong.

At I Love Pho, there are many different types of ingredients you can add to your Pho. I ordered the Chicken and Beef Combination, but you can order tofu and vegies, a special beef combination with extras or simply just beef or chicken. All for a considerably decent price range. You can check out the menu here

During lunch hours, the service appears average at best, though, it depends on how you look at it. You order and get served very quickly, but it’s mostly a rushed environment to get as many people in and out as they can.

Onto the Pho that I did try, the beef was quite nice and seasoned and still slightly rare which makes it all the better, as the very popular restaurant in Springvale well known for their Pho has chewy and tough beef. The chicken was also soft and moist and not dry at all so it was a pleasant surprise.

The soup is what I guess most people enjoy, and I Love Pho’s soup is very good. It has a great flavour to it, but it isn’t too strong. For some it may be slightly ‘watery’ but I enjoyed it and after finishing my Pho (almost finishing anyway), I was extremely full and satisfied.

I Love Pho knows what it does best, it hardly needs to change a thing as people arrive in droves. You can see why it is so popular on Victoria St, and a favourite of many as well.

I Love Pho 264 on Urbanspoon

I Love Pho

264 Victoria St
Richmond, VIC 3121

(03) 9427 7749

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