I'm currently studying professional and creative writing at Deakin University.
Published September 26th 2013
Authentic Vietnamese Food in Bayswater? What?
Bayswater is fast becoming a great place for Asian cuisine. With a mouth-watering choice of Thai, Chinese, Malaysian, and Vietnamese it's now the suburb of choice for outer-east residents looking for good quality and authenticity - all on a budget too.
Mixed vegetables on crispy noodles
Amongst all the choice is the fantastic Pho Kha Tran Vietnamese restaurant. Situated right in the heart of Bayswater on Mountain Highway, it might be easy to overlook this humble-looking restaurant. Wedged between a wholesale make-up outlet and a group of recently developed townhouses, speeding by in a car you could mistake this restaurant for a cafe or deli but it would be a sad oversight to miss this place.
The menu boasts a tasty range of surprisingly authentic Vietnamese offerings. As you may be fully aware it's hard to find good quality Vietnamese in the outer-east. Normally, it's 'sweet and sour' this, 'beef and black bean' that. But this restaurant has managed to hang onto some authentic flavours.
For appetisers you are spoilt for choice but some of my favourites include: the tasty chicken and pork spring rolls with a chilli vinegar dipping sauce and refreshing rice paper rolls with Vietnamese mint.
The main meals are classic Vietnam, drawing their flavours from lemongrass, chilli, garlic, onions – carefully balancing the sweet, salty, and bitter flavours with hints of spice. Personally, I'm a fiend for the rice vermicelli with grilled pork. It's beyond me how they manage to pack so much flavour into their pork but thank goodness they do – it's amazing!
There is a great selection of Pho, a noodle soup that is popular on the streets of Vietnam. You can choose beef or chicken which comes with a side selection of bean shoots, chilli, mint and lemon or lime. It's then up to you what you want to add to the noodle soup from the side-ingredients.
Pho noodle soup with sides
For vegetarians there is a decent selection of salt and pepper tofu or mixed vegetables on crispy noodles among others.
If you're feeling a little adventurous, for desert is the classic '3 colours drink'. A strange blend of red-bean and gelatinous tapioca mixed with coconut milk. Give it a go. I enjoyed it.
So if you've got a hankering for Vietnamese I would highly recommend this little gem in the outer-eastern suburbs.
Thank you for reviewing this place! I love Vietnamese but live in the outer north-east. I have driven past this place (was so happy when I saw it!) and wondered what it was like. I will definitely give it a go now.