Wat Da Pho, South Melbourne
After about two years in South Melbourne this little unassuming Vietnamese-ish cafe will probably end up being my most frequented lunch stop. So hey, that says a lot. Wat da Pho is about sixty seconds from the office (thirty if you take the fire exit) and has the right balance of price, quality, nutrition and they take card (ugh, can’t believe that’s even a thing here). I’ve tried most of the menu now and will lean towards the rice paper rolls for speed or the “Da Sticks” for any other occasion.
Queues are particularly variable so I have been known to change my mind depending, or go for the three rice paper rolls for $10. Usually the lemongrass beef and chicken avocado, with the peanut hoisin and spicy mayo dipping sauces. I rate their rolls which are fresh, tasty, with a few herbs in the mix for some nice fragrant eating.
Otherwise my usual choice is the meat skewers, which can be served with salad, rice or noodles. I prefer the salad option which nets me a bonus skewer, making it three. You can mix and match your proteins, so I usually opt for one a piece of chicken, beef and pork. Chicken, pork are usually pretty good, the beef can be a bit dry if you’re unlucky. Salad is largely lettuce, carrot and occasional herb, its all DIY.
The pho wasn’t particularly great, so only ordered it the once. Lacked a bit of authenticity and the usual aromas you get at the shittier looking stores in Richmond or Footscray. I say I’ll probably miss grab the odd lunch from Wat Da Pho, but it might just merit a return visit.
Pro tip: I reckon always go salad for the extra skewer, you can ask for a second sauce when you get the rolls