Had dinner @ the Mekong Cafe in Wellington. I had the Pho/Beef combination (cooked beef, rare beef, and meatballs) and the SO had the Pho/Rare Beef. I found the soup stock, arguably the most important component as in many asian soup noodle dishes, to be on the insipid side. In fact, I barely discerned the usual components like star anise, clove, charred onion and ginger especially to be present, much less a strong beef stock in the first place. The beef in the soup noodles was good though, as I find most beef in New Zealand. Though the Hanoi or nothern style is usually served as is, the usual southern style or Saigon version accompaniments were a bit lacking, just bean sprouts and cilantro and a lemon wedge (I prefer lime but no matter), no mint leaves or SE asian basil or other leafy greens that night. I wished I could have had a cold ba ba ba or any other beer with the soup and fried spring rolls (just average) we ordered but i guess it must be a byo place as no beer/wine is served. The Mekong Cafe is a hole-in-the-wall place that chowhounds seek out, I just wished it had delivered. Will try some other dishes next time. Maybe the other dishes will be better.
Any other Pho places in Wellington or New Zealand I should check out? In fact, is the greater population of Vietnamese to be found in Auckland?