There are few things Melburnians love more than pho, and now south-siders can indulge their hunger for the complex, aromatic and eminently slurpable noodle soup close to home.
Mopho Canteen’s reflects chef and owner, Adam Davies’, unique approach to modern, casual Vietnamese eating. After travelling through Vietnam and being inspired by the fresh and vibrant local cuisine, Adam returned home to St Kilda with cravings for pho that could only be fulfilled by the tuckshops in Richmond. The dream of having great Vietnamese food locally became reality when he stumbled across a space for sale on Balaclava’s bustling Carlisle Street. In July 2015 he opened the doors to Mopho Canteen.
Despite this being his first venue, Adam is no newcomer to the hospitality scene, with previous kitchen stints at Mr. Wolf, Circa and Melbourne Wine Room. While his flavour palate is drawn from Vietnam, he knows how to cater to Melbourne’s diners with friendly service, great tunes and moreish food. The atmosphere is casual but fast-paced, with a raw, garage aesthetic, creating the sense that you’ve just walked into a backstreet tuckshop.
The menu takes inspiration from hawker style street-food, executed with high quality, local produce. Meat is sourced from central Victoria, seafood is sustainably fished, vegetables are grown in Geelong and the rice noodles are made by a family company in Footscray. And great news for those avoiding gluten, the entire menu is gluten-free so you’re free to graze to your heart’s content.
For starters, choose from pork or tofu spring rolls with Nuoc Cham sauce, while more adventurous diners can opt for glazed chargrilled chicken heart and spring onion skewers. Mains deliver big, fresh flavours, such as soft shell crab with Sriracha mayo and a betel leaf, or the seared tuna, green papaya and mint salad topped with crispy rice paper. If you’re up for a feast with friends, book in a week ahead for the whole suckling pig.
But for lovers of Vietnamese food, it’s all about the pho. Dishing up steaming bowls of the tasty broth from lunchtime through dinner, Mopho will please meat-eaters and vegetarians alike with beef, chicken and vegetable options.
You can choose one of the many Victorian wines but with a large selection of local and international beers, what could be more Australian than a cold beer with your spicy noodle soup? If you’re feeling like you’d rather be in the tropics order the Lychilli Beer cocktail, with fresh lychees, mint, chillies and ginger beer. If you’ve still got room for dessert, you can’t go past the luscious chocolate mousse with coconut icecream, lychee and raspberry.
Combining the best of Melbourne’s casual eatery style with delicious authentic Vietnamese fare, Mopho Canteen could be your favourite new spot to satisfy those pho cravings.