Please don't think poorly of me but I can't help but feel smug as I tuck into my bowl of pho while watching people queue out the door. While there's certainly no shortage of Vietnamese restaurants in Springvale I can't help but think I'm onto a good thing when I see how long people are waiting for a table.
Another great thing about this place is while they do a wide range of the usual rice paper rolls, spring rolls, vermicelli, broken rice and pho offerings, they also do a decent selection from other Asian cuisines. A really blessing if you're dining with the pho-phobic. The char kway teo ($9.50) is as good as you'd find in most Malaysian restaurants. Smoky rice noodles with plenty of seafood.
The chef's special seafood laksa ($10) was a perfectly acceptable version but I'm guessing there was no one in the kitchen pounding away at lemon grass, galangal and shrimp paste. This was definitely a supermarket paste version.
What they really do well, unsurprisingly, is Vietnamese fare. The prawn and pork rice paper rolls ($7.50 for 4) are plump and fresh. An order of sliced beef pho ($7) arrives with meltingly tender rare slices of beef that continue to cook through in the aromatic broth. With a generous serve of rice noodles to slurp up it's hard to pass this dish by. They also have a wide variety of other pho and noodle dishes and the broken rice with pork seems to be a real hit with the regulars.
Cnr Buckingham & Windsor Avenues, Springvale (directly behind Springvale Rd)
9am-9pm Sun-Thu, to 9.30pm Fri-Sat
Phone: (03) 9540 8389