In Search For the best Pho in Sydney (Saturday 10 July 2010)

Always in search of the best pho is Sydney, I joined in with the recent VietTUB expedition organised by @FrancieJones, @RadhikaR, and @StuartHorrex. This time the group headed to Bankstown.
Bankstown is a suburb located 20 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district. A multicultural suburb with a predominately Vietnamese and Lebanese population.
Asked for a recommendation for a restaurant that offered not only great Phở, but the opportunity to taste and savour some of the other dishes Vietnam is so famous for, I suggested Gia Hoi.
There’s a couple of reasons why I prefer the Gia Hoi the more widely known (in foodie circles anyway) Pho An. Pho An with a specialisation in Pho, doesn’t offer a wider menu.
Gia Hoi on the other hand provides diners with one of the hugest servings… a bowl so vast that even I struggle to finish. The full range of dishes are delicious and all are reasonably priced. It’s always one of the Bankstown restaurants at the top of my family’s list, and in terms of authenticity the food is as close as you can get to Vietnam without stepping onto a plane and making the long journey there yourself.
Even better… One of the signature dishes served at Gia Hoi is a dish called Bún bò Huế – A spicy Beef noodle soup that’s one of my favourite noodle soups. Perhaps even in preference to the more ubiquitous Pho.
Alex, Stuart and Tony

So What is Phở ?

Phở is a well known  and signature Vietnamese noodle soup. According to Wikipedia,” Phở is served as a bowl of white rice noodles in clear beef broth, with thin cuts of beef (steak, fatty flank, lean flank, brisket). Variations include tendon, tripe, meatballs, chicken  and even seafood”.
If you’ve never had Phở , you definitely should give it a try the next time you are heading to a Vietnamese noodle bar. If you are looking for authenic Vietnanese food, take a trip to the Bankstown. This multi-cultural suburb is a great destination with many good Vietnamese restaurants that serve really fresh and flavourful food at a very reasonable prices. Usually, most of dishes are less than $10. And they are very filling!
Phở tái bò Phở (Recipe)
Noodle soup with rare beef fillet
  Phở đặc biệt
 Special beef noodle soup
Vietnamese Pho is usually served with lots of greens, herbs, vegetables, and various other accompaniments like dipping sauces, hot and spicy pastes, not forgetting flavour enhancements like a squeeze of lime or lemon. The dish can be garnished with ingredients such as green onions, white onions, coriander, Thai basil (húng quế) (should not be confused with sweet basil, Vietnamese: húng chó or húng dổi), fresh Thai chili peppers, lemon or lime wedges, bean sprouts, and cilantro (ngò rí) or culantro (ngò gai).Several ingredients that are not generally served with phở may be ordered by request. Extra beef fat in broth (nước béo) can be ordered and comes with scallions to sweeten it. A popular side dish ordered upon request is hành dấm, or vinegared white onions.

Here is a list of different types of Phở available in most Vietnamese Noodle Bars:
  • Phở bò tái: Phở with half-done beef fillet
  • Phở bò chín nạc: Phở with well-done beef brisket
  • Phở bắp bò: Phở with beef muscle
  • Phở nạm bò: Phở with beef flank
  • Phở gân bò: Phở with beef tendon
  • Phở sách bò: Phở with beef tripe
  • Phở bò viên: Phở with beef meat balls
  • Phở gà: Chicken phở
  • Phở sốt vang: Phở in beef stew soup
  • Phở tái: Phở with raw beef fillet
  • Phở tôm: Phở served with pieces of shrimp (sometimes served at Vietnamese-American restaurants)
  • Phở hải sản: Phở served with variety of seafood (sometimes served at Vietnamese-American restaurants)
Special Broken rice with grilled pork,
shredded pork skin & fried egg
Hue Style-Spicy Noodle soup
Vinh Van Lam
the authorVinh Van Lam
Vinh Van Lam, co-founder of ArtSHINE, is a visionary art coach and entrepreneur with a passion for fostering creativity. With a diverse background in art and business, he brings a unique perspective to empower emerging artists, enabling them to thrive in the dynamic art industry through the innovative platform of ArtSHINE.


  • Great post! Thanks for the wonderful recommendations and descriptions – feeling more confident about selecting some new dishes to try! Can’t wait for our next sojourn! cheers Radhika

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