248 Hampshire Rd, Sunshine. Phone: 9077 0502
The new Phu Vinh in Sunshine is not the sister restaurant of the operation of the same name in Footscray – it’s the daughter restaurant.
The friendly woman who takes our money and asks about how we enjoyed our meal as we depart tells us the Footscray “branch” is run by her parents.
The Sunshine venture, which opened just before Christmas, shares an almost identical menu boasting of its hu tieu specialisation, has the same semi-chic decor and vibe, and is tops in terms of kid-friendliness.
We’re happy to note that even on the stroke of a Monday noon that the place is quite busy – seems like Phu Vinh Sunshine has found its place in an intense Viet environment very quickly.
The service we receive is very attentive and prices for most noodle and rice dishes $10-12.
We keep it simple and order what I suspect are two of the most popular items on the menu.
My pork and prawn rice noodle soup (hu tieu tom thit hoac mi tom thit, $10) has pork three different ways – hey, doesn’t that sound like the sort of thing they say in fancy high-falutin’ fine-dining places?
There’s thinly sliced pork, darker meat in thicker slices and chunks, and pork mince.
Sadly, my lunch offers up just a single medium-sized but tasty prawn.
I’m later told this is standard, but if I ever want an extra house-made prawn cracker to go on top there’ll be no charge.
Prawn issues aside, it’s a fine lunch, the slithery noodles, varied greenery and fresh, clear broth singing in harmony with the added chilli slices and lemon juice.
Bennie could not be happier with his “AWSM” vermicelli with shredded pork skin and spring rolls (ban bi cha gio, $10).
He cleans the bowl out and barely says a word as he eats.
Very unusual, that!
“Everything was good about it,” he tells as he peers over my shoulder as I write.
(I’m working on getting him in the blogging spirit of being a bit more specific in his foodie reflections …)
As we return to our car, we are delighted to see our story on Dragon Express posted prominently in that fine establishment’s widow:
Another westside gem.
When are we going to get a blog post from Mr. Bennie himself?
Hi Emelia! Short answer: It’s coming! Proviso: There’s no set timetable. He’s come a long way from, “Geez, dad, can’t we just go out for dinner?!” He’s taken a few pics, is offering up his opinions and preferences, and helping with scoping out new places to visit. I’ve suggested doing his own posts a few times, but don’t want to pressure him. A request from a visitor may help, so thanks!
The prawn cracker is my favourite part, and the unhealthy pork lard yum. Is it easy and free to park around Sunshine on weekend meal times? Footscray is closer to us but if parking is easy there we may consider going there instead when we feel like having their noodle.
Hi Wills! Sunshine is MUCH better than Footscray at weekends, but at nearby car parks rather than right outside the various restaurants. There’s parking space right outside Classic Curry, for instance, and even at busy times the carpark that services the mall usually has spaces. Both those are free of charge and just a few minutes’ walk to Phu Vinh and its neighbours.
On reflection … truth is even at Sunshine it can pretty hectic anytime around noon, especially IIRC on Saturdays. But it’s still better than Footscray. And maybe there’s parking in the surrounding streets (on the city side). There’s also underground parking at Sunshine Plaza, though only one level.
Lunched here today, excellent. Bennie was spot on with that dish!
Also tried ‘that Indian place’ in the industrial estate in deer park. Mother (my regular foodie explorer) and I weren’t overly thrilled but am taking your advice that it may well have been what we ordered so will reserve judgement for a second try.
Hi Cyclone! Yummy India? We haven’t been there yet. What did you order so we know to avoid it? 🙂
Would rather not say and look forward to your take on it and then we can compare!
Moving to deer park at Easter which I never thought I’d do, but a few weekends of exploring has cemented my (foodie) choice. Look forward to sending tips down your way.
And loving this blog, you’ve got a winner…
Tips? Yes please! Yes, the greater west is the foodie biz. Though Deer park and thereabouts are still a largely unknown quantity for us.
It will be my pleasure although a sunshine focus should probably be per-empted 😉