Twenty Pho Seven
138 Russell Street, Melbourne
Review by Alejandra Larrosa/Photos Courtesy of Twenty Pho Seven & Alejandra Larrosa
As the name suggests, Twenty Pho Seven never closes. This bustling restaurant serves Vietnam’s national dish at any hour of the day or night, and is the place to go when you crave something comforting yet light and wholesome. Even though the Pho is the star of the show, they also offer a range of Vietnamese specialities that will tempt diners to try everything on the menu.
My initial impression upon arrival was the mouth-watering aroma of bubbling stocks and fresh herbs, heightening my anticipation of a pleasurable meal ahead.
Sitting under a large mural of Bruce Lee and swaying to old school RnB tunes, I made my selection from the Vietnamese street foods on the menu. Inspired by the music, first up I chose ‘Straight Outta Saigon’, as my Cocktail Bubble Cup. The icy fresh taste of Gin, Elderflower, Cucumber and Mint, with a tang of lemon and dash of soda served with fruity bubbles, would be a hit with any Gin drinker. A ‘New World of Cocktails’ has opened up for me after trying a Bubble Cup with alcohol. Plus there’s a choice of fruity, fun, non-alcoholic alternatives including the ‘Passionfruit Green Tea’ Bubble Cup served with rainbow jellies – delivering the desired sugar hit we all crave!
I can highly recommend the Crispy Pork Belly Rice Paper Rolls served with a tangy peanut sauce; a refreshing start to the meal which gratify from the first mouthful. When biting into the roll there’s the initial crunch of crackling followed by the tender pork and light noodles. Adding a dollop of peanut sauce provides a zesty flavour to enhance this stand-alone dish.
The Honey Glazed Fried Chicken took me by surprise with its crispy skin and succulent meat. Drizzled in a sweet, tangy sauce this delight had me licking my fingers and going back for more!
With heightened senses I was now ready to savour the traditional pho, created from a broth recipe passed down through many generations. Our generous bowls of steaming pho comprised a light broth flavoured with ginger and coriander, with the addition of flat rice noodles and spring onions, and piled high with crunchy bean shoots and various herbs.
Sampling both the chicken and beef pho, I can see why Twenty-Pho Seven would draw a late night crowd or early risers, with the promise of nutritious, comforting dishes. The beef broth pho was complex but light, with thin slices of beef floating above the noodles, while the generous serve of chicken pho was rich in flavour and a meal in itself.
Meal over and fully satisfied, I took a moment to take in my surroundings while sipping on my Bubble Cup Cocktail. Watching the friendly staff serve yet another warm bowl of comfort to the Friday afternoon crowd, I knew I had discovered another Melbourne gem.
**Alejandra was a guest of Twenty-Pho Seven – This is an independent account of her dining experience. We welcome Alejandra to the Melbourne Gourmet News team.
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