Fo0die dined as a guest of Twenty Pho Seven and as such, the rating does not give any consideration to customer service.
If you haven’t guessed by the name, Twenty Pho Seven is a 24/7 venue (exceptions on public holidays) serving up Vietnamese food in the CBD. The venue is licensed from 7am through to 5am the next day, with a short 2 hour break to rest your drinking hand. At the time we dined, the venue had already operated 24/7 since the start of the year in January and only closed on the Good Friday at 5am, resuming service at noon that same day.
Owned by the same owners as Hochi Mama which is a Vietnamese fusion venue, Twenty Pho Seven aims to bring more traditional Vietnamese flavours to the CBD (think of the flavours from Springvale). The venue also welcomes reservations which is always nice.
On entry, a small cash register stands at the front. Turning towards the left is the dining area with a bar on one side offering bar seating an iPad’s for self service ordering. The venue itself does not have a restroom located inside but instead shares restrooms with Taco Bill next door.
The interior is very industrial looking and not your typical Springvale Vietnamese venue, with the exposed brick, half rendered beams and some greenery wrapped around the silver pipes in the ceiling. At the front of the venue, two bar height tables occupy the space opposite the bar. Walking further in, normal dining tables fill the space along the wall art along the back of the wall.
The venue has two A4 sized menus, one for food and another for the drinks they offer. The food menu contains the usual Vietnamese offerings that you would expect from a Vietnamese restaurant; skewers, rice paper rolls, spring rolls, banh mi, pho, vermicelli. What differentiates Twenty Pho Seven from the typical Vietnamese restaurant are the options they offer under some of these categories.
The drinks menu was ‘not your typical Vietnamese restaurant’ drinks list, offering Vietnamese coffee as one of the bubble cup options where you can add pearls or even a shot of alcohol to make it a cocktail bubble cup. The matcha milk tea didn’t have a strong matcha flavour and was on the milkier side while the Vietnamese coffee was as expected, sweet and strong. For the Vietnamese coffee in particular, we thought it was value for money given how much coffee was in there (now if only the venue was closer to work!). Between the two of us we started the meal with two smaller dishes. The nem nuong skewers had a nice flavour with honey bringing a sweetness to the skewers and the rice paper rolls were larger than what we had expected with a nice crunchy pork belly inside.
For mains, Mr J had a medium bowl of pho which had a decent amount of meat and noodle (while it did not exceed, it met Mr J’s expectations) in a soup base that was nice and flavoursome, no complaint about it from Mr J. Given we haven’t been to Springvale in awhile, we couldn’t say definitively whether the soup base tasted similar to the flavours in Springvale but it was no different to our usual favourite pho joint in the CBD, Pho Dzung which is just down the road. I had my usual vermicelli bowl but had a difficult time picking from the range of topping combinations the venue had (9 combinations at the time we dined!). The vermicelli was nice and smooth and went nicely with the finely shredded carrots, cucumber and the three toppings I chose. Out of the three toppings, the spring rolls was the least impressive (maybe because I am used to more ingredients inside my spring rolls) while the bo la lot was the highlight.
Given Twenty Pho Seven is a little closer to work, I think we will be frequenting this spot a little more when we want a Vietnamese fix in the CBD.
Dishes that make up this review
- Matcha milk tea ($5)
- Vietnamese coffee ($4.50) with pearls ($0.50)
- Nem nuong pork skewers; traditional Vietnamese pork skewers in tasty honey glazed dressing ($9.90 for two)
- Crispy pork belly with cucumber, mint, lettuce and vermicelli served with peanut sauce ($8.90 for two)
- Sliced beef and beef balls ($12.50 for medium)
- Bo la lot, prawn spring rolls, crispy pork belly with vermicelli, cucumber, lettuce, pickled carrots, coriander and nuoc mam sauce ($15.50)