Rating: 4 out of 5
Pho Hoang Gia
2/98 The Crescent, Flemington 2140
As much as I love pho whenever I venture out for Vietnamese, sometimes I just really want a lighter meal than a hot, beefy soup. What these occasions call for is bun cha. In fact, I think I could easily eat bun cha for the rest of my life. It has all your food groups in one bowl – vermicelli rice noodles, vegetables and salad, and topped with the protein of your choice.
Amongst all the Vietnamese restaurants in the Flemington strip, this one was recommended by friends in the know. It is tucked in a lane way behind the main street and is bustling with lunch time diners when I arrive.
My bowl of noodles comes out reasonably quickly, and my eyes excitedly widen at the golden cha gio (or spring rolls) artfully arranged around the edge on the top. The salad of noodles also comes with crunchy, fresh bean sprouts, shredded lettuce and carrot, fragrant chopped mint, and crushed peanuts. I pour over the home made nuoc cham dressing, which brings all the flavours together in a lovely sweet, salty and sour mix.
The noodles are light and refreshing, and I was particularly impressed with the cha gio, where the crisp shell was filled with delicious pork mince, carrot, garlic, black fungus and strands of vermicelli. Combined with the soft noodles and crunchy, fresh salad, it’s a fun contrast of flavours and textures.