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Showing posts with label Vietnamese Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Vietnamese Food. Show all posts

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bites: Hearty Pho @ Urban Bowl, Perth.

Northbridge has always been the holy grail of the Vietnamese cuisine.  With household names like Tra Vinh, Phong Vinh and Phi Yen making mouths salivate with their signature Pho, lemon grass chops and curries, these places are almost no brainers.   But if it is only Pho that you are looking for, there is a little somewhere more central in the city with similar credibility on its cover. This small unsuspecting cafe is called Urban Bowl.   

Coming in at 10am after finishing my medical, they were still serving their signature poached eggs on baguette for breakfast. But my stomach was craving else.  Something soupy, piping hot and all in all, something to fight the winter chill like a bowl of Pho.  Nothing does it better than a bowl of piping hot Pho with beef balls and sliced beef.  Lunch time officially starts at 11am but for the kid in shorts and tee-shirt, the chef was happy to accommodate me.  
Where do I even start?  I had not had Pho in such a long time that I was swept of my feet from my first mouth.  Simple pleasures like the rich broth paired with the fine slices of shallots were  absolutely amazing in this bowl of soupy goodness.  Noodles were cooked to standard and dipping the balls in my favourite mix of sweet sauce and Sriracha was sensational.  Mid-way through the bowl,I also realised the finer details aced by Urban Bowl.  Its the cooked beef slices and they were super tender and meaty just the way I like it!

At $12.50, it is easily one of the better eats in town justified by their location paired with generous servings of meat balls and sliced beef.  If you are ever in the city, you would probably already know about it.  But for those who are passing by, Urban Bowl just beneath the Exchange Plaza serves one of the best Pho in town.  Just in time for winter :)!

Click to add a blog post for Urban Bowl on Zomato

Monday, September 8, 2014

Melbourne Trip: Mount Buller Resort and Vietnamese Dinner at Pho Hung, Preston

Mount Buller was my last retreat in Melbourne before getting back to the daily grind. Going right after XL finished work meant that dinner had to come first. Naturally, I was more concerned about being stranded on the way up more than anything else.  When I think of comfort food in freezing cold weather, nothing beats a bowl of piping hot Pho.  For that we stopped by a suburban Vietnamese place in Preston called Pho Hung. 

For starters, a generous serve of rice paper rolls stuffed with pork.   Mix your own concoction of Siracha and Sweet Sauce before dipping them in :)!

Pho Hung’s house specialty is mixed tender chicken and beef pho.  It was a super generous serve.  I like the tender slices of meat paired with the silky smooth noodles. Just chewing the beef followed by a spoonful of warm tasty beef broth made this a rewarding exercise.  Whilst it was really yummy, the flavour of the broth was less potent that the ones I have had in Perth.  My perception maintains that Perth still has the best Vietnamese Pho in town haha.
The food quality here was good from start to end.  A very typical Vietnamese restaurant which stands as a classic rather than a contemporary but still every bit pleasing. Service here is prompt and necessary rather than overwhelming but more importantly, the price here is superbly decent.

Our night drive to Mount Buller was scary and challenging altogether.  Endurance is key despite the short drive because unlike driving on a normal road, the path up the mountain was steep and snowy.  Put extremely low visibility and tight corners into the equation and one would require a high level of concentration.  But when you are up there, the views were every bit rewarding!
The view from our lodge's balcony.  Absolutely stunning views.

The last picture from the resort before driving home :)!

Pho Hung on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Bites: What the Pho @ Northbridge

Slurping hot noodles and a good winter’s afternoon is pretty much what a mundane Monday needs.  The fix at one of the newer Vietnamese Restaurants in the city, has a catchy signboard with a matching name.  Pho or Vietnamese noodles are often pronounced “poh”  which my friend says is wrong.  Instead, the correct pronunciation is something like “fur”.  Putting petty issues aside, What the Pho has a really nice interior which sets itself apart from its counterparts who seems to have a more traditional “less is more”  sort of styling.   But it was the food that really mattered.  Does the younger restaurant have what it takes to beat its more experienced siblings?

For me, I called a dry noodles with fried chicken for $11 + $1 for extra noodles.
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The toppings were decent with bean sprouts, chives and spring onions.  But what matters the most for me is the sauce used.  For me, Vietnamese is all about having the elements well balanced.  This means having a salty base with proper amounts of sweetness and heat.  Unfortunately, the version of dry noodles at WTP was decent when it comes to salt but sweetness was non-existent.  I reckon the people at Phi Yen or Tra Vinh, make better sauce for their dry noodles.

However, what I did like was their fried chicken! It was chopped up, well-plated and serve with a small dish of sweet sauce.  And if you’ve guessed it, this gave the noodles good help!  Add it together with the chili sauce, and the whole noodles actually taste pretty yums!

As for my friends, they ordered the raw beef and beef ball hofan.  I tried their soup and found it pretty good.  But what matters most I guess it the opinion of my friend who happens to be a Vietnamese.  Quoting his exact words “It looks interesting from the outside, but tastes bland”! Honestly, I thought it was pretty tasty haha.  But then again, I typically mix my soup with the chili sauce and the other sweet brown sauce.  This creates a concoction where the original taste has disappeared! 

Finishing my meal, I felt satisfied.  I guess others felt relatively good as well.  I liked what I ordered despite it being slightly bland which did not really matter.  This was because  the various sauces on the table allows everyone to do a little bit of mix and match to suit.  Lunch at What the Pho was alright in pricing as well.  I guess this warrants a second visit although one might find it hard to deviate his meals from his usual restaurants especially when one does not offer anything more than the other.  In fact, the choices at What the Pho seems slightly lesser with the usual suspects such as Braised Beef Noodles, and  Diced Steak with Fried Rice all missing.  Hmmmm?

What the Pho on Urbanspoon