Blue Bamboo, 156 Churchill Avenue, Braybrook. Phone: 8394 2617
The Churchill Avenue shopping strip opposite Braybrook Community Centre has a perpetual rundown look.
We’ve noticed a few shops come and go over the years at a strip we presume caters to a strictly local clientele in a low-key way.
As for eats, Consider The Sauce has had little reason to stop as we cruise to or from Sunshine or beyond.
Until now …
Blue Bamboo is a three-week-old Vietnamese restaurant that’s set out in orthodox Viet style up front, with a lovely outdoor “tropical garden” area out back with gold fish.
It’s still too cold for that but it’ll be a sweet spot once spring kicks in.
The staff tell me business has been slowly growing.
It’s the sort of place where, until now, paleskin customers have been rare so chop sticks are not routinely provided.
When I ask for a pair, a minor language contretemps sees me almost handed the tooth pick dispenser.
Much laughter ensues!
Bennie and I pass by the further reaches of the menu (see below) – the hot pots, clay pots and sizzling plates – and go strictly for the familiar.
Chicken spring rolls ($8) are regulation and fine – hot, ungreasy and a little bit peppery.
Bennie’s had a thing lately for “shaking beef” ($10.50), so I’m happy for him to have it here – with the requested tomato rice.
All is good, though the serve seems not overly generous to me.
He prefers a drier interpretation of this dish but is only a little bit disappointed.
No such problems with my pho of sliced beef and brisket ($9.50).
I had endeavoured to keep expectations in check, as I generally adhere to the notion that pho ordered away from Vietnamese centres such Footscray, Sunshine or St Albans can often be mediocre or worse.
But this is a winner – as attests the first slurp of broth, high in flavour and not too sweet.
The sliced beef is of excellent quality and the brisket, only a little bit fatty, provides a fine contrast.