I asked my Vietnamese friend what ‘nom’ means, thinking that it was probably similar to the Cambodian ‘nyum’, meaning ‘eat’. But it doesn’t. Turns out it’s more like the sound that adults make when they’re trying to get a baby to eat something, kind of like ‘num num num num num’. So there you you go.

I was in the city getting my shellac changed on the weekend and decided to grab some chicken pho from Pho Nom to take home for dinner. Shellac, by the way, when you tap it into the Google machine, comes up with some very interesting results. Did you know for instance, that it’s the name of a post-hardcore band from Chicago, Illinois? Wikipedia however, tells us that it is also actually the resin secreted by the female lac bug on trees in India and Thailand. It’s been used for insulating and sealing all sorts of things – we even eat it! Did you know that when apples are washed during processing the natural wax is removed, and it replaced with shellac??? And now we’re getting manicures and pedicures with it. Crazy.

Anyway, post-mani, I swung by Pho Nom and ordered my takeaway dinner. I was expecting the usual rectangular plastic takeaway container, but instead was handed an ingenious and awesome-looking pack harbouring my dinner of slurpy goodness.

pho nom
Takeaway pack from Pho Nom – how good is that??

The chicken pho at Pho Nom is my equal favourite in Melbourne (the other one is at a place I can never remember the name of on Victoria St, Richmond). The broth is rich and delicious, the chicken is tender and juicy unlike plenty of others that I’ve tried that are overcooked and dry, and the accoutrements are plentiful and fresh.

If you’re in Melbourne and haven’t tried it yet, you should. It’s phoNomenal. Geddit??