Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hao Phong 2

Hao Phong is great.  It is bright, busy and fast - perfect for anything from a quick meal with the kiddies, to a girls' night out.  We did the typical but delectable entrée thing:


Vegetarian rice paper rolls with hoi sin/peanut dipping sauce

Pork spring rolls - but if you don't know what these are, despite the bad pic, I contest you are not really a Melbourne person!


Bo la lop - usually translated as "minced beef in vine leaves" - more specifically minced beef in betel leaves - divine!!  If you are stuck in the spring roll/rice paper rut, much as that is a very delectable rut to be in, do mix it up with these little beauties.

I was very proud of my friends - we all decided to be adventurous.  Here is Minced Chicken and Salted Fish with Rice Noodles (Bun Xao Thit Ga Ca Man):

Prawn meat stuffed eggplant with capsicum and beancurd (Com Ca Tim Ot Dau Hu Don Tom):


We also ordered Coral Trout and BBQ Hot Pot (Ca Mu & Xa Xiu Tay Cam) - I did take a pic but my self-consciousness about using a flash meant it is all blurry.  Send me your bloggy vibes so I stop being so shy!

And of course we had to have crispy squid (salt & pepper, properly called Muc Rang Muoi) - every time I cannot take a photo because it is just inhaled instantaneously!!)

The dish we expected the least from was the chicken & salted fish noodles, but that was the far and away success.  Chopped chicken, rice vermicelli, egg and a little lightly cooked Asian greens, plus every few bites, a bright spark of something umami - must have been the salted fish.  I am so curious about this ingredient as I have never heard of it nor tasted it before, but it has been hard to research, and others seem to be confused too.  I'm looking forward to asking about it next time I'm at the market.

Getting back to our meal, the prawn meat stuffed eggplant was good, just a little one-dimensional in terms of saltiness.  Normally these style of dishes are really good - eggplant or tofu, slightly hollowed and stuffed with minced prawn - but I prefer when they have a light, stock-based sauce rather than the black bean sauce this was served with.

The hot pot was OK - lightly battered pieces of fish with fried tofu, shiitake mushrooms and carrots in a cornflour-thickened soy-based sauce.  But the squid - squmptious!

(Was that bad?  Well, you gotta try it!  You too will be inspired to make bad squid word play!)

All these goodies, plus 4 bottles of BYO wine, was $82 for 5 people.  Although, while my wallet was happy, my head did pay for it the next day!

Hao Phong, 136 Hopkins St, Footscray

Hao Phong on Urbanspoon


  1. I only have PHO at most of the places in Footscray. I should try and pop in in the evenings as well.

  2. Hao Phong is delish and cheap, you should head up a bit further to Hong Kong BBQ - soo good!!

  3. No need to be shy with the camera Ms Baklover! You're the Footscray Food Blog! I do know how you feel though. Sometimes even when I'm feeling comfortable taking a photo, I know the person I'm with is embarrassed and that deters me.

  4. penny - you won't regret it! Although the pho is so very addictive...

    Jodes - glad you are a fan too. I went to HK BBQ years ago when we were house-hunting and really enjoyed it. Must revisit soon, thanks for the reminder!

    Ellise - thanks for the confidence boost! I actually took my digital out to lunch with me today and took some nice pics, but as you mention, it was easier as the people I was with were blog-savvy and not at all embarrassed.


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