Like any other love story, I stumbled across Saigon Pho by chance.
It was a very cold winter afternoon during 2014, and I was simply looking for something to warm me up. I remember thinking ‘this will do’ as I walked pass the shop.
Everyone has a story like this.
Everyone has a pho shop like this in their neighbourhood.
Chances are, you think your pho shop is better than my pho shop.
But this, this is another secret place that makes me proud to live in Carlton.
I can’t put my finger on Saigon Pho.
It isn’t crowded, which is a good thing.
Sometimes it closes on Saturday, which is not such a good thing.
Sometimes the soup is inconsistent.
From time to time, they switch their rice noodles.
But just like any loving relationship, I keep coming back to it.
I brought my parents here. I brought my parents-in-law here.
And after frequenting here for the past year, I’ve grown accustomed to the taste of the grilled chicken pho. The glistening sweet broth, coupled with the unlimited chili paste is now my standard to judge against other pho shops.
I went to a so called ‘famous’ one in Richmond last week and all I could think of was how I like my usual and have wasted my pho quota of the year.
When I realised they have another shop in Footscray, my heart jumped for joy.
Not because I will go to Footscray, but because of credibility.
Another branch with real Vietnamese street cred?
I now have real pedigree to brag about.
You might think your pho shop is better than my pho shop, but you know, that’s just your opinion, man.