Fo0die dined as a guest of Pho Cycle and as such, the rating does not give any consideration to customer service.
Located conveniently with a tram stop right at the front, we arrived via the tram from the CBD on a Friday evening to a quiet venue with many locals and frequent customers going in and out of the venue as we dined.
The venue’s decor is hard to describe, its rustic but with touches of traditional pieces used as decor in a mix of golden yellow and red.
On entry, directly in front and left are tables with the counter after that occupying the left side of the venue. A bike hangs on the left wall paying tribute to the name of the venue ‘Pho Cycle’ (apparently a name that the owner’s friends suggested).
Each of the tables are equipped with sriracha, pickled ground chilli, hoi sin sauce, cutlery and napkins. The interior seating is arranged in a ‘U’ shape around the counter while some outdoor seating is also available by the street, under cover.
The small clipboard style menu has the usual suspects expected at a Vietnamese restaurant (i.e. rice paper rolls, banh mi, pho, vermicelli, spring rolls) but each with a modern offering under each of these groupings.
For example, we had rice paper rolls but with cured salmon instead of the usual pork or prawn filling. The roll was fresh and had the unusual addition of purple cabbage which gave it that extra crunch when biting into it. This was paired with a fish sauce rather than the usual peanut sauce that we were used to.
And under the ‘made for sharing’ section, we tried the crispy chicken ribs which is one of their popular items on the menu and we could totally understand why. It was crispy with a delicious flavour to it. But definitely more on the modern side rather than Vietnamese.
For our two mains, we had the prawn skewer vermicelli and their popular spicy pork mince pho. The prawn was not served on the skewer but in the bowl itself, they weren’t the ‘fleshy’ kind of prawns and I personally couldn’t tell it was chargrilled. All the ingredients in the vermicelli were nicely shredded with the exception of the cucumbers which were cubed instead (personally I would have preferred that this was also shredded so I could pick them up with the rest of the ingredients).
The spicy pork mince comes in a vibrant red broth made up of chilli powder and chilli paste (and it was a notch above a little chilli kick). Now Mr J loves his pho and usually complains there is not enough noodles in a serving but in this instance, the serving size exceeded his expectations.
Go in expecting modern Vietnamese and not traditional Vietnamese else you might be disappointed if you’re expecting flavours of Springvale or Footscray.
Dishes that make up this review
- Cured salmon rice paper roll with vermicelli noodle, pickled carrot, cucumber, herbs, cabbage and lettuce ($9 for two rolls)
- Crispy chicken ribs ($10 for small)
- Chargrill prawn skewers vermicelli noodle salad with pickled carrot, cucumber, herbs, lettuce, cabbage and fish sauce ($16)
- Spicy pork mince ($14.50 for full size)