Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Phu Pho

Phu Pho on Urbanspoon
Thanks to my epic screwed up times in which I eat my meals, I am constantly finding the need to search under the "open late" category under Urbanspoon when deciding dinner options. And then I used to sleep like an hour after that, which probably explains why I'm a fat sloth.

But nowadays I sleep at like 4am, which gives enough time for all that dinner to run around in my stomach and digest but that probably explains why I am the height I am. I think my sleeping pattern stunts my growth bit by bit, day by day.

Anyways back to my dinner, so we found this Vietnameses Cuisines restaurant that supposedly opens late (but personally I wouldn't classify 9.30pm as late by any means). This was a restaurant I poked my head into recently and its classy interior definitely has a different appearance to most Vietnamese restaurants. Usually with walls adorned by mirrors and basic, plain decor, this place differentiates itself from a lot of other Viet restaurants; in its appearance that it features a modern style design, with patterned walls and such. It gave me the impression that it caters more to the Australian culture, rather than the Asian community. (Purely personal judgement of course).

Phu Pho - Menu
Surprisingly, a pretty filling meal, somehow.   :|
Vietnamese Coffee
This always amuses me, cause I never understand why the coffee is served this way. This vietnamese coffee was served the authentic way and had condensed milk nestled at the bottom of the glass cup supporting the dark, strong, sloooo o oo ooowly forming layer of drip - drip - dripping coffee from the strainer cup on top holding the compressed coffee beans. It is painstakingly frustrating waiting for the liquid to take its darn sweet (bitter) time.

Tests your patience. It can even seem like it's mocking you on purpose.

Finished coffee product
And finally, after half a decade later, it completed its long draining process. Even the ice cubes in the tall glass got bored of staying hard and disintegrated into a puddle that filled about 1/4 of the glass. So anyway, in went the coffee and milk with the melting ice cubes and out came a very satisfying caffiene drink. Sweet and creamy, I found myself making loud rude slurping noises that come about when you try to suck the last of liquid at the bottom-est of the cup.
By this time, I was drinking a very diluted and plain tasting coffee but ah, what the heck, it was good while it lasted.
Very good, in fact, since I kept trying to drink something that wasn't even there anymore.

Menu depiction of Pho Dac Biet
So the Beef Noodle soup that was shown like this...
Pho Dac Biet
Came out delivered looking like this. Not too bad, but I hate it when pictures are deceiving. Typically I expect Viet restaurants to perfect their Pho, cause it's such a typical Vietnamese dish. This was meant to include raw beef, beef balls, beef brisket and beef tendon in the beef base soup. Devasted when I was told they had run out of beef tendon :(

Surely enough there appeared to be no visible floating beef venison when my meal was given to me. But close investigation and digging around revealed a whole heap of small cubes of soft beef tendons scattered at the base of the bowl in the soup. I reckon it was probably a mistake.
A good mistake indeed :) I looove surprises.

This was ok, to say the most. Unfortunate, because the price of it was a bit more in comparison to a better bowl of Pho in competition. The soup lacked something I can't put my finger on but ...eh. Wouldn't say it captures what Pho entails and you wouldn't fall head over heels for Pho if this is the first Pho dish you try. Pho sure ;)

Not bad overall, but not mind blowing either.

Mi Bo Kho
I would rate this as the better dish of the two. Having a reddish/orangey appearance, the Mi Bo Kho is a beef stew noodle soup combining fatty beef brisket pieces, softened carrot and egg noodles, with a sprinkling of spring onions and crushed peanuts. Egg noodles can never go wrong, unless you overcook them, which these weren't. They still had a good chewiness to them. I'd say leave them in boiling water for about 30 seconds flat.
See that's why Asian cuisine has such a quick turnover customer rate. Cook fast, eat fast, leave fast.
I bet 2 minute noodles came about with this concept in mind. But these are literally 30 second noodles. Hmm.

But yes, noodles can never go wrong. Like instant noodle packets. They become your best companion when it gets late at night and the fridge looking sad and empty.

There was a generous inclusion of the meat in this dish, with still about 7 or 8 pieces hanging around after a good 10 or 15 minutes eating the dish. This is always appreciated, but due to the fatty nature of the meat from a fat cow, continuing eating of brisket may turn into an experience of eating lard. Yum yum.

By the end of this the top of my jeans tightened around my stomach. Nothing to do with me, somehow my jeans managed to just shrink.
Paid $31 for this. I'd have to say I'd rather another place and not have to pay as much and for *possibly* better food. On the tables were bottles of Mount Franklin water, which I dared not touch in case they charged like $5 as soon as it was opened or it accidentally fell into my bag.

There is also a larger range of options on the menu at various other eateries. This place has its flashy menu with slick pages and photography and all, but it was a surprise to see a list of about 10 dishes or so with about 8 of those with N/A scrawled beside them. Hmm. No ingredients or not know how to cook?

Service was friendly and welcoming, despite only getting into the restaurant about 5 minutes before its closing time. I love places who don't shrug you off for coming late. I loathe places who still tell you you can eat but then give you attitude because you're delaying their closing time and clean up.
Attitude check guys, and make the world a happier place.

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