The Pho Championships continue! The first place where Mr N and I ate pho (that I blogged about) was I Love Pho 264
. Only a week later we ate at Super Bowl, a mere four doors down, so comparisons between the two are inevitable.
The interior is largely the same with with simple wooden tables and chairs, and the menu up on the wall. The staff are similarly efficient and friendly. The pho menu is also pretty much the same – sliced beef, been brisket, been tendon, beef balls, and so on. There is one big difference though, and that is the BBH: Bun Bo Hue.
The BBH, as I affectionately like to call it, has developed a bit of a cult following as of late. It is a spicy beef soup from central Vietnam with thick vermicelli noodles rather than the traditional flat rice noodles found in pho. The broth is heavily flavoured with lemongrass and chilli, which is a stupidly good combination. Super Bowl’s version is the perfect balance of sweet, sour, spicy and salty. Garnished with some bean shoots, red cabbage and a squirt of lime, this was a fantastic bowl of noodles.
Mr N, ever the traditionalist, ordered a regular sliced beef pho, and said it was far better than our previous pho experience, with a better clarity to the broth, more of an aromatic star anise flavour, and lovely bouncy noodles. A good range of condiments and sauces lets you personalise your pho as you like.
Mr N and I also shared a plate of spring rolls, for the sake of comparative research, of course. They were much thinner than the spring rolls at I Love Pho 264, and not quite as flavoursome I thought, although they came with lots of lettuce and Vietnamese mint to wrap them up.
“Why the name, Super Bowl”, you ask? Well, dear readers, if you order and finish a Super Bowl, which is 2kg of pho, then you get a picture of yourself with your empty bowl on a hall of fame
on their website. A guy at the table next to us was eating a large bowl of pho (note: the Super Bowl is even bigger), and it was so big I could have drowned in it. Accept such a challenge at your own peril!
So there you have it! Super Bowl seems to have come out the winner in the first heat of the Pho Championships. Despite the let down of the spring rolls, the main event, the pho, was superior and there’s the added bonus that they make a killer bowl of BBH, which is exactly what I needed on such a chilly evening. A standout from the Victoria Street crowd, and well worth a visit!