Mopho Canteen | South Yarra
The legends over at Mopho Canteen have been slinging the tastiest pho on Carlisle Street since 2015. It's THE place to go in Balaclava for blood orange piña coladas and crispy pork spring rolls.
Well heads up, South Yarra—Mopho Canteen have just set up a second venue on Toorak Road.
"Toorak Road has a lot of amazing restaurants that've been around for a number of years, but we wanted to bring something new and exciting to the area," says Mopho owner Samarla Carey. "There are a lot of French and Italian options, but we wanted to offer a different healthy, fresh and affordable choice."
The basic Mopho premise remains the same: central-style Vietnamese (meat and sweet in equal measure) with a funky, contemporary hook. The new space isn't massive, but the aesthetic is a nice change from Toorak Rd's moody candlelit bistros. Think pastel, Fonda-esque walls, rainbow tiles on the bar and a semi-al fresco beer garden out back.
Now the important question—what are you gonna order?
You can’t go past Mopho's Pho Bo Tai—a delicate broth loaded with oodles of noodles and topped with rare beef. Don’t fret Vegans, they got a lil’ something up their sleeves for you too (AKA–Pho Chay). While their soups are pho-nomenal, so are their Banh Mi: crispy baguettes smeared with a sriracha mayo/hoisin blend then packed full of veggies and your choice of meat, tofu or pork spring roll (yes, it’s a thing).
The one demand Balaclava locals had was for more seafood, so Samarla and the team have added crispy fish wings and BBQ Queensland jumbo prawns (honestly, they could be lobsters), topped with red nam jim, lime and fish mint. To top it off? An Instagram worthy cherry ripe ice-cream sanger that’s guaranteed to rake in the followers.
Wash it all down with a cracking range of cocktails. We're partial to a simple fresh coconut with a big glug of vodka, but whatever floats your boat.
Image credit: Jenna Fahey-White