When a case of the munchies hits Vietnamese people after a late night out, it is not the kebab shop or McDonald's drive thru they head for, it is for pho.
It is also not uncommon for them to have pho (pronounced `fuh') for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner. And anyone who has come across this dish will understand why. Because describing it as beef noodle soup just does not do it justice. Like most popular Vietnamese cuisines, it is the clever combination of fresh, simple ingredients that makes it taste much better than it looks.
Pho is traditionally made with beef or chicken pieces and rice noodles with bean sprouts, mint leaves and Asian basil in a tasty broth filled with seasonings such as roasted ginger, coriander and fennel seed.
A personal favourite of mine is the medium rare beef pho at PHD Restaurant in Marrickville. Their regular sized bowl of lean, tender meat and the most fragrant and tasty broth will only set you back $9. Located on Illawarra Rd amongst an abundance of Vietnamese restaurants, this place is always busy with pho addicts coming back for more.
Cabramatta is always a great suburb to find the most authentic Vietnamese cuisine. One that stands out is Pho Tau Bay. This restaurant was actually named the best pho in Sydney in an online poll conducted by the blog Noodlies in 2010. It also boasts a very cheap yet incredibly tasty bowl of pho.
Pho An Restaurant in Bankstown is a pure dedication to the dish and a popular destination for pho lovers. There is nothing but many a type of pho on the menu but this large restaurant is constantly filled with people slurping away.
Perhaps a more accessible pho destination is the Pho Pasteur franchise which has places in Parramatta, Haymarket and Blacktown. The meat is lean, the ingredients are fresh and the price is once again very kind.
The where and what makes for the best pho is always up for debate and finding new places is half the fun. Let us know where you think the best pho is Sydney is.
Ha Noi Quan in Marrickville has the BEST Pho I have ever had and I am always on the lookout for a Vietnamese restaurant that can out do this one. It also has the best ever Salt and Pepper Squid in Sydney!
I have to say Pho Pasteur was a total let down and the one next door too. I have however found absolutely delicious Pho at the Living Juice bar in Broadway shopping centre. It's tucked away near the medical centre so you have to look out for it but it's so worth the minor detour. Lovely lean beef, tonnes of herbs and some of the best stock I've tried in Sydney. All served by really friendly and helpful staff. Go try it!