Pho Ngon, Shop 11/330 Ballarat Road, Braybrook. Phone: 0426 210 714
Our abode closeness to Yarraville village dictates, to quite a large degree, where and how we do our household shopping.
But we are not loyal in that regard – so are quite happy to shop around, depending on where we’re at or, more frequently, where we’re coming from.
So with some life bureaucracy chores dispensed with in Sunshine, we are curious enough to step inside the Ballarat shopping centre that replaced an unsuccessful hardware/homeware establishment quite a while ago.
A search for “Braybrook shopping centre” turns up the long-time retail/service hub on the corner of Ballarat Road and Ashley Street – so I’m not sure if this new one further up Ballarat has a name.
But nope, nothing there’s for us in terms of grocery shopping.
Or any other kind of shopping.
Some fast-food options that don’t exactly leap out at us in terms of enticement.
But wait – there is right here a good Vietnamese restaurant, one with a far more comprehensive menu (see below) than most people may expect.
So we settle in for lunch.
Bennie enjoys his “bun thit nuong + cha gio” (rice vermicelli with grilled pork and spring rolls, $13) – it’s a good, solid rendition.
But my com ga Nha Trang (Nha Trang farm chicken rice, $16) is significantly better – and it’s a surprise to find such a dish at a rather generic suburban shopping centre.
The soup is just warm, quite sweet and flavoursome; the rice is nice.
The chicken is, as I’d hoped for given the “farm” part of the menu listing, more chewy and higher in flavour than typical Vietnamese restaurant chook.
The salady jumble in which my chicken is entwined and the similar salad alongside have plenty crunch and sweet ‘n’ sour flavour contrasts.
There’s places in Footscray and Sunshine I’d expect a zingier version of this rice dish, but this is fine.
If this centre was our local shop stop, we’d be eating at this joint at least once a week.