Pho Hoang Gia, Flemington

Friday, March 07, 2014

With the close or relocation of one of our favourite Flemington eateries, we were left bewildered one Saturday lunchtime as to where we were to eat lunch. Sure, there are heaps of cheap and fulfilling restaurants in Flemington where one can slurp down steaming bowls of pho or much away on stir fried noodles, but Khais' eatery in the arcade (near the ever-busy pho joint Pho Toan Thang) was a favourite of ours whenever we were in the mood for a Malaysian fix.

It was in this instance that we instead decided to try out Pho Hoang Gia, nestled in next to another Vietnamese restaurant in the lane way that leads to the car park behind the arcade. It's accessible from the street, but is an otherwise unexpected eatery situated in a rather peculiar location.

From the outside it is an unassuming place to eat lunch, but enter through the side door and you are greeted with a full, bustling dining area full of people munching away at large bowls of noodles and drinking icy coffee concoctions at lunchtime.

We grab the last seat in the restaurant (seating is a mix of stand-alone and shared tables) and flick through the menu, glimpsing every branch of Vietnamese cuisine. Pictures are included for almost all the options, so there's no chance you'll order something you'll regret later on because you haven't seen what it looks like.

Rare Beef Pho

Service is fast and chirpy and our bowls of Pho arrive at the table first, within 10 minutes of ordering. The broth is tasty without being too overpowering or strong, a noticeable change from the more heavily-spiced soups we're usually used to. There is a generous amount of beef in this Pho, tangled up together in one big, shredded pile that requires a little bit of chopstick work to break up.

Vermicelli spicy beef soup ($9)

Thick vermicelli noodles

Dad gets the vermicelli spicy beef noodle soup,  a somewhat kicked-up version of the traditional beef Pho. This comes with thick, tubey vermicelli noodles, a variety I hadn't come across before, as well as a few blood jelly cubes. The broth has the same aromatic depth and flavour as the Pho, but with an extra added layer of bearable hotness.

Grilled pork and spring roll vermicelli ($9)

I had the grilled pork and spring roll vermicelli salad, which arrived sitting atop a colourful salad of shredded lettuce, carrot and bean sprouts amid a cluster of spring onion, crunchy fried shallots and what looked like to be chopped nuts (though it's not very visible in the photo). The pork was just off the skewer, still in its grilled, compact form, and marinated to an orange tinge with a strong lemongrass flavour. The spring rolls were crispy and snipped to just a little bigger than bite sized.

Like most of the eateries in Flemington, you can get a great cheap lunch feed here for under $10. Although it's relatively minimal and not too flashy, Hoang Gia's expansive menu means that you can sample all the fare of Vietnam and Cambodia without even leaving Sydney.

Hoang Gia on Urbanspoon

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    1. Thank you Greg! Will definitely be using this feature from now on in all my posts.