Originally posted on The AU Review (August 2, 2016)
Nestled in the corner right outside of Box Hill Central, the newly opened Miss Saigon sits, sporting its wide-windowed exterior with a shapely queue of hungry customers waiting outside the door. Being welcomed with the aromas of traditional and flavoursome Vietnamese herbs and spices of lime, chilli and smoky beef flavours made me all the more excited to try out their latest Phở offerings.
Sat in the corner surrounded by beautiful wall art, unique decorative ceiling lights and neon signs that hung on the wall ahead, you wouldn’t think of it to be a traditional Vietnamese Pho restaurant, but something more contemporary. However, the menu certainly sticks to this traditional value.
With a fairly extensive list of traditional Vietnamese beverages, my guest and I started off simple with an Iced Coconut ($4.50), a drink of sweet and slightly nutty coconut water with fresh shavings of coconut, and a refreshing and sweet drink of Freshly Pressed Sugar Cane Juice ($5).
It’s near impossible to dine in a Vietnamese restaurant and not be tempted by any spring rolls or rice paper rolls. Miss Saigon’s Prawn and Chicken Spring Rolls (4pcs $6) and the Vegetable Spring Rolls (4pcs $6) were both perfect in texture – golden with a beautiful crunch on the outside, maintaining a soft and delicate inside.
The next step is to choose a phở from a large variety of beef, chicken or other chargrilled meat options, and to pick a size from small, medium or large. Be wary, however, as the portions are quite large despite the wonderfully cheap prices.
Ordering the Sliced Rare Wagyu Beef Pho (Medium $15.50) and Chargrilled Pork Pho (Medium $10.90), we were met with large, steaming bowls of fragrant flavour and warmth, perfect for Melbourne’s harsh winter. The beef phở had a strong broth with nice lingering, well-balanced flavours, slowly cooking the slices of rare wagyu beef, gradually becoming more tender while soaking up the liquid.
The pork, while it looked appetising, was left on the rind and with no knives or utensils made it challenging to grab a bite. So, use your hands at your own discretion. The beef slices were very large, but certainly proved less difficult to grab a hold of than the pork, but thankfully it seemed the slight struggle was ultimately worth it.
If you’re around Box Hill and wanting to seek refuge from those cold Melbourne days, this is definitely the place to be. Perhaps the greatest strength of this place is how budget-conscious it is, balancing quality with price to make this a winner for students and families alike.