Tropical garden in Braybrook

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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.

 

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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.

 

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Chicken spring rolls ($8) are regulation and fine – hot, ungreasy and a little bit peppery.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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