It's winter in Melbourne and by the time I get home from work, put a load of washing on and make a cup of tea, I'm usually feeling a bit like:
as cold as Japanese Puppy Kawaii
Needless to say it's a struggle to get out of the house after this. This also means that the chances of me getting to the gym, or to do any form of exercise, are fairly slim. There is, however, silver lining on my Melbourne clouds - Pho66 in Carnegie. Serving hot clear soups (pho) and light Vietnamese vermicelli salads (bun) it's both healthy and refreshing.
Let me start by saying that I grew up in and still live quite close to the Carnegie area – walking distance in fact. My brother and I grew up going to Carnegie to the chicken shop, where we spent many days killing time, bonding, and eating like teenagers. The chicken was average, the chips amazing and the salad bar fresh. Then it closed. We may be adults now but we were both horrified. Our beloved chicken shop shut down? How rude.
Then we found out it was going to be a Vietnamese restaurant. Big expectations. We both love and cook our own Vietnamese food, so for us, it didn't have to be just be good, it had to be better, more convenient, and more value, than what we could make at home.
The soups come in three sizes, perfect for people who wonder if they can order from the children's menu at most restaurants. Their main dishes come in a variety of options, beef, chicken, pork, chicken and pork, spring rolls, and more. There's something to please most families. Note, however, that I didn't see too many vegetarian options.
It's value for money – I had the chicken and spring roll Bun. Everything was fresh and the herb serving was generous. The portion however was huge – for me. I left enough to take home and eat a full meal the following day, for $12.
I have since been back to try the Pho – light, delicious and filling, perfect for a hot winter meal without ruining your diet, and the best part? You can have everything they serve take-away. I'd recommend it in fact. They pack the takeaway really, really well. That might sounds like a strange thing to point out, but how many restaurants do you go to that you have a favourite dish you can only eat there – think soggy pizza, cold lumpy soup, melted ice-cream on pancakes. Pho66 just has a knack for packing takeaways so that they stay fresh.
Urbanspoon has the restaurant as pho66. Also from looking at the menu posted on urbanspoon, this does not look like an authentic Vietnamese restaurant. The menu is provided in English or Chinese only???