Oddly enough, we found ourselves on the other side of the river last weekend near Springvale. Hungry, tired and cold, pho was really a no-brainer for a cheap lunch. After securing a park after what seemed like forever, we took our grumbling bellies to the nearest pho place. Usually we would pour over urbanspoon, have a few heated discussions and then attempt to make a semi-informed lunch decision. We were far too hungry for extensive research so we settled on the first sign that hinted pho was near – Pho Chu The.
We were promptly seated and shown menus. The menu here is quite a bit more extensive than your usual no-frills pho establishment and offers 3 tiers of pho sizes – small, medium and godzilla (aka large). I scoured the room for bowl sizes and decided that the large was probably far too much for even me to handle, however, I watched in awe as a dude meticulously devoured the entire bowl without even coming up for air.
I ordered the medium rare beef pho ($9) and Joe ordered a medium chicken and beef ($9). Joe can’t resist tacking on spring rolls to every pho meal we have so we hastily also ordered pork spring rolls and a couple of delicious, sickly-sweet, icy beverages in the form of lemon juice and coconut juice.
The spring rolls arrived first, with a generous bowl of sweet chilli dipping sauce. Crunchy, golden and filled with pork – these little suckers were pretty standard spring roll fare that can be found at most pho places.
The pho arrived in the form of a fragrant, boiling broth with loads of rare beef strewn through it. We both agreed that this is one of the better broths we have experiences of late, laced with herb accents, hints of beef stock and a very generous serve for the minuscule price tag. Another major win here was the sheer amount of condiments that seemed to invade our table space (no complaints here) – even pickled onion was on offer.
Springvale – be warned, you are now on our pho radar.