Pho Hoang Dakao
Free time is such a rare commodity to me nowadays. So making time to go to Springvale is quite difficult for me, because I find it a BIG waste of time. Why?
1. Parking. It’s almost like winning tattslotto when you find parking – It’s ALWAYS busy, even on public holidays. Regardless of whether it’s free parking, paid parking, they are always full, unless you arrive their at ungodly hours.
2. The people there like to cross the road without looking, and they feel like they are royalty and can cross at that own pleasure – it’s dangerous for us drivers on the road! So, quite often I’m granny driving.
3. I always end up buying the entire supermarket when I go grocery shopping – yeah I end up spending more time than I have allocated initially.
So when mummy peach-water asked me to go to Springvale on my day off, I moaned and complained. Luckily with Eastlink freeway, it now cuts my time in half (15 min) to get there (rather than 30-45 min – springvale rd way). It also took me half n hour to find parking! OMG. It felt god send to me when I found parking that day, plus I swear I almost ran over a lady who decided it was ok for her cross the road when she felt like it >.<
By the time I found my parking, I was completely drained. My HP (health points for non-gamers out there) levels were well and truly at its last bar and I totally needed to restore my HP to full level. By that, I meant going to eat at a restaurant.
If you go to Vietnamese restaurants, you’re probably already familiar with the fact that you’ll get served hot Chinese tea from a stainless steel thermos.
Whenever I go to Chinese/Vietnamese restaurants, I always make sure that I have at least 2-3 cups of tea, as I strongly believe that tea helps cleanse the oil that we consume. It’s actually a regular habit of mine to drink green tea every night after dinner.
Other than tea, I also ordered myself the combination drink. It’s not a drink that everyone will like it, and I guess it’s more of an acquired taste, but to me this drink probably has more benefit than drinking the Vietnamese coffee or the three coloured drink – which is mainly sugar, coconut and glutinous rice flour made items. If you’re ever at a Vietnamese restaurants, I do recommend everyone to give it a try for experience. Trust me it’s not bad at all.
So what is this combination drink? Well the Vietnamese name of this drink is: Sâm bổ lượng and the Chinese name of this drink is: 清補涼 (ching bo leung). This drink actually originated from China, however mentioned here is the Vietnamese version.
I’ve tried the canned Chinese version of the drink, and lets just say it was a horrible drink.
The reason why this drink is healthier than say Vietnamese coffee or the three coloured drink is because of the ingredients they use in this drinks: Dried logan, red jujubes, seaweed, lotus seeds, water chestnuts. At other restaurants you may also find pearl barley as well.
I did a bit of research, and found the health benefits of the ingredients used:
Dried Logan: Has the effect on relaxation
Red Jujubes (red chinese date): Extremely high level of vitamin C
Seaweed: Very low in calories (20-30 cal), blood sugar regulation, digestive aid.
Lotus Seeds: powerful antioxidants, fight inflammation and aging (this is probably why us Asians never seem to age! haha)
Like I said, it’s an acquired taste, but it’s definitely not disgusting – it’s a sweet tasting drink. It doesn’t taste like Chinese medicine, but more a dried logan (better flavour than the actual fresh fruit itself I reckon) taste. I do need to say that you really do need to be careful when ordering this drink as some places make it quite horribly.
I don’t think Pho Hoang did a very good here because, well the remaining of the drink tasted as though they added tea into the glass because they ran out of water or something.However, the ingredients they used tasted ok. So, this drink here is a miss :(
I’m sure many of you are aware that whenever you eat out at a Vietnamese restaurant you will get the Nuoc Cham (Dipping Fish Sauce (Cham = dipping)) – Not to be mistaken with Nuoc Mam (Which is just Fish Sauce)), a small plate of lemon & thai chilli.
If you have Pho – you will also get a plate of greens & bean shoots.
The meals here at Pho Hoang comes with a bowl of complimentary “soup”, which to me is ‘MSG Soup’ because well… it just tastes like… chicken stock with added MSG (at a very large portion mind you!) and also with spring onion and coriander for garnish.
A very horrible soup, and one should clearly avoid, unless of course you want to end up with dehydration.
Ok – If there’s anything you have to try at this restaurant – then it has to be this very dish! Recommended by peach-water, and it’s more so this is my staple whenever I visit Springvale. I’ve tried many other Vietnamese restaurant’s versisons but none of them can get it the way I want it.
Here in this dish they use flat egg noodles (It has to be the flat type – no other), some type of sauce – my uncle who was a chef, told me it’s probably ABC sweet soy sauce, pork mince, bean shoots, chilli, spring onion, and of course the hero of the dish: salt and pepper chicken / pork (any will suffice – both are really good). Note: This is a dry noodle dish, so it’s my best advice to anyone who tries this dish to mix well!
This time round, I felt that the dish was lacking something, but regardless, I had an enjoyable meal, and felt my HP had restored quite a bit after consuming this bowl of noodles! My only complaint is the chilli wasn’t as spicy as they were in the past, but then again my chilli taking threshold has gone up in level.
However, I do have a slight feeling that there may have been a change in ownership or something as the menu has been completely updated, the waiting staff are not the same and the person working has changed.
So, mummy peach-water finally made her debut on my blog! YAY! I guess the way mummy peach-water was brought up, she doesn’t really like spending an exorbitant amount of money on food. I always get the look from mummy peach-water when I tell her the amount of money I spent on fine dining. I swear one day I’ll give her a heart attack!
Anyway, mummy peach-water, chose the ‘Hainanese Chicken Rice’. Yes, it’s in inverted commas, because.. well simply this dish looks like a big joke to me. I don’t even know what to make of it. I don’t think they Pho Hoang should have named this dish ‘Hainanese Chicken Rice’ because it looks nothing like it. Not even remotely!
The rice they used in this dish was PLAIN rice – yes! Plain rice. Plus the chicken looked pretty bad, without much fat. There was no dipping sauce, and WHAT pickled carrots & spring onions? This dish made me shake my head in disbelief. Just looking at the photo made me wonder whether the chef was actually trying to to be creative or something. I’ve never seen such Hainanese Chicken Rice quite like this before. It’s so bad… it’s a BIG fail.
My final words for this place is – if you’re ever going to come to this place, the only dish I would ever recommend is the dry noodles with salt & pepper chicken/pork dish. Anything else, please approach with great caution.