"Start counting" says little bro as soon as the friendly Vietnamese man takes down our order. "Once you get to 17, our order will be on the table"
"Shut yo' pHO mouth" I reply.
Little brother and I took the Yaris out one cold afternoon for a quick food run. For the longest time has been wanting to take me to his favorite unassuming restaurant in Bankstown - Pho An. He regularly treks down there with his uni friends and though that it was his brotherly duty to get some Pho in my belly. I have heard nothing but great things about Pho An and its extremely addictive reputation, so no doubt little bro was on the right track.
Being deathly allergic to corriander, I tend to tread with caution when it comes to Vietnamese cuisine - but this Empty Fridger likes to live dangerously. "Did you bring your anti-histamenes and your puffer?" little brother asks. "No." Being as awesome as he is, he carefully instructs our waiter to please make sure that there is no corriander added to both bowls..he even forgoes his serve of coriander just so it doesn't get mixed up in my dish! bless! In the blink of an eye, we had a plate of herbs and beansprouts and a bowl of fresh chillis arrive at our table - speedy service that surpasses any fast food outlet. Efficiency is the word for the day here!
Pho An definitely has its art mastered and HAS their expertise a locked down with the Pho - it is the only dish served. No Fried Rice, Spring Rolls, Dumpling or any of that sort to be seen here. I think our waiter actually smirked at me when I took a while to decide what to order..so I left this in the capable hands of little brother. This is where you go for Pho, and hot damn they make it good. Ok, I admit, my bowl of Cooked beef pho (Medium Bowl, $12) looks a little sad without the lashings of coriander that they top these humongous bowls with. Little Bro reaches for the plate of beansprouts and herbs to to his Large bowl of Rare Beef Pho. ($12)
Of course someone had to get all creative and start reaching for the sauces as well. Some Chilli, a bit of Hoisin and then there is nothing but silence. It was a sunny afternoon, and neither of us were sick but our bowls of Pho would be like a comforting hug if it was the opposite. The complimentary tea in little glasses also give some warmth but I ordered the Viet Iced Coffee for that mid afternoon sugar kick too.
The broth is clear and flavoursome and more fragrant than I expected. I was convinced there was cinnamon in there somewhere which I thought was very unexpected in Vietnamese cuisine. Because of my fear of death by coriander I don't get to try as much Pho as I would like, but this one is a winter winner. The slivers of meat are tender and tasty, and the serve of the silky and slippery rice noodles was huge! Although I tried to eat as much as I could, my efforts hardly put a dent on my big bowl!
We look alike don't we? That a huge spoon! Big spoons = efficient eating!
Little brother asks for some sate sauce on the side, and he tells me to dip the meat pieces into it and try it that way. This gives it a different flavour, very nutty and not spicy as had expected..I always wary of sauces that have the look of chilli oil since I am a bit of a chilli wuss! It added a punch to the big bowl of broth - and with humongous serving the flavours get a bit repetitive so this provides a great fix for that.
I try to get over the halfway mark of the bowl but i'm not having much luck with this broth..I'll come better prepared with an empty stomach! We were the only patrons at Pho An that afternoon but im sure that they pack this place out day in day out! Their motto says it all! "So Pho, So Good" and that is exactly what it is.
The Glass noodles and some slivers of the cooked beef!
This menu on the wall has absolutely no English what so ever, but they do have some handy menus availables and you can't really go wrong. Either way, this will be the Pho that will keep me coming back to Pho An. It has all the pro's for a delicious destination Friendly and efficient staff, Fast, cheap and cheerful dishes and a menu that you don't need to understand to have something delicious in your belly!
It was alot of fun just hanging with Little Brother and demolishing a big bowl of pho for two. Due to its addictive nature and its reputation for getting you hooked im sure ill be back!
**No corriander allergies or near death experiences, if you must know :)**
Pho An Restaurant - 29 Greenfield Parade Bankstown