cold, poor and lonely: the prescription is pho

I’d been really unwell but had made a commitment to catsit in a part of town that I didn’t actually realise is something of a personal Bermuda triangle for me. My body was hating me – everything was making me nauseous and/or vomit. Even asthma attacks – if I coughed too hard, I threw up.

Life was going well but eventually my body conspiring against me was really starting to get me down in a almost in tears way.

I don’t do tears. Anger, apparently, but not tears.

Thankfully, Tristan came to give me a bit of comfort and distraction. The trio of cats I was looking after were equally wonderful, but somewhat ravenous (I’d thrown up on myself practising my melodica with no warning and they tried to eat my vomit, I shit you not).

Both of us were poor. Box Hill was nearby. It was time for pho. It seemed somewhat sacrilegious to go to Box Hill for pho rather than not Richmond or Footscray but I had no money to fill up my petrol tank.

We decided to give Pho 888 a shot. At least if I hurled, it would have been with the knowledge that it provided some comfort and sustenance at the time and at $8 a bowl, it wasn’t going to be a guilty hurl either.

Pho 888's magic sign

Tris got the sliced rare beef pho which I coveted. Can’t go wrong with the classics, can you? Warning in advance: the photos are as ghetto as I was feeling.

sliced rare beef pho

The condiments were more than pleasing – generous amounts of everything and fresh. Always an excellent sign.

pho condiments

Despite my food envy over Tris’ choice, I went with the beef sausage with black peppercorn pho. I first had something similar at Co Do and it has haunted my palate ever since in the best way possible. So, so good. My dish did not disappoint and I slurped and scarfed down my bowl as if I’d never had pho in my life. Apparently it was just the thing to settle my ailing stomach. Oh noodles, why you be so good to me.

beef sausage with black peppercorns pho

Service is minimal, but that was part of the charm. I’d chosen it based on Urbanspoon ratings and proximity to trio of adorable beasties’ palace and quite a shame I actually live so far as I’d definitely revisit though would be keen to hear my self-appointed pho king Billy’s opinion on it of course as my broth palate isn’t anywhere near as developed as his.

Pho 888 Box Hill on Urbanspoon

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14 thoughts on “cold, poor and lonely: the prescription is pho

  1. not bloody mary likely

    I am about to have an operation and my one request is my grandmother’s chicken and matzah ball soup, Jewish penicillin. Perhaps in a similar way pho is Vietnamese penicillin. I hope you didn’t share this meal with cats…

    1. Gem

      Yea grandmother for delivering the goods. Hope your operation is not too serious and that you recover quickly 🙂

      Nope, the meal was not shared with the cats. Thankfully that was a once-only experience! Pho saveth many, and it saved me that night 🙂

    1. Gem

      I went to this place a while back when I was just starting to get sick and am sick again! Can we convince them to deliver? 🙂

  2. fatbooo

    I hope you’re feeling better now. I will have a bowl of pho anytime, even on a warm day, and when I’m not sick! Looove pho. 😉

    1. Gem

      I finally pinned down the culprit of the nausea/vomiting (no, not preggo – my running joke for that is you have to be having sex to get pregnant :p) and my specialist said I just have to be patient and wait for it to settle.

      I’ll hopefully be nomming some laksa tonight so that’ll help to cure what ails me!

  3. Billy

    Hey, I never appointed myself pho king! I don’t believe in a pho monarchy! Maybe a high council of some sort…

    It’s hard for me to try pho out in Box Hill, because the only time I ever go out that way is to visit my parents, and I’m not going to turn down home-cooked food. That way folly lies!

    But I’ll see if I can talk them into coming out for pho sometime and we’ll give 888 a try. That sausage does look good!

    1. Gem

      Sorry Billy, what I meant to say is that you’re *my* self-appointed personal pho king. If you had a gospel, I’d know it off by heart :p (the world could do with a gay foodie gospel, just saying…)

      Yeah, if you go to 888 would love to hear what you think. I’d love to go back for the regular sliced rare beef pho. God, could do with a bowl now, it’d stop this bad cold in its tracks…

  4. Anna Johnston

    Holy smokes, what the heck was going on? Are you feeling better? Pho is the business, suprising that you could hold it down, I guess your body said ‘Yes’ to the $8 huh. Pho is on the list of things I want to make. Thanks for the reminder, perhaps this weekend I shall try. 🙂

    1. Gem

      I’ve got a bad cold and side effects of some long-term meds (took me and specialist a while to work out, duuuuuuh me) but should be on the mend in a fortnight or so.

      Just said to @fatbooo above that I’ll most likely be having laksa tonight so that should further cure what ails me 🙂

  5. Debra

    Was introduced to Pho by a good friend and it is now one of my favourite meals.
    I can testify to it being like chicken soup to a Jewish person. I have eaten pho after one too many the night before and this soup makes me feel better every time.
    It is simply DIVINE!

    1. Gem

      I actually went back to this very restaurant on a night when I felt poorly and ordered the same thing quite recently and basked in its restorative properties. Ah pho!


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