Where: Corner of Leeds and Ryan Streets, Footscray
When: Breakfast, Lunch and Dins everyday
Contact: (03) 9687 2680
Another Vietnamese place in Footscray with hospital-grade lighting and plastic cups? Well yes, and while Pho Tam is so much like all the other local eateries on a surface level, stay for a meal and you’ll see what sets it apart. As the name suggests, Pho is served here and it’s very good. However this particular evening I ate and reviewed the Lemongrass Chicken with rice ($9.50). The dish comes with a mound of rice (choose between steamed or fried) and a clear side soup which is deeply “stocky” and fragrant. It’s best drunk hot and makes for a refreshing appetiser to the dish. The chicken itself also has strong character; with spicy ginger and a sticky sweet sauce. Plenty of sliced brown and spring onions pack even more flavour into the deal. The flavours are punchy and fresh and lack any sort of chemical flourishes which can be a problem in many of the budget Vietnamese restaurants. Although the menu isn’t particularly original it does feel authentic, and it is done very well.
Lemongrass-flavoured Chicken and rice ($10.50)
Pho Tam has friendly and attentive service, with hot tea always on its way. We were also asked if the television was too loud for us, something which I cannot say has ever happened to me before, anywhere. Though the fact that they have a television at all indicates that this isn’t a place to have a long, romantic meal. Ambiance aside, food arrives quickly, but not suspiciously so and the staff are also easy to lock eyes, with should you need anything else. If you’re not too full, try a jackfruit or avocado smoothie. Served cold, creamy and sweet, they’re guaranteed to surprise and impress your discerning tastes.