Rating: 4 out of 5
27 Greenfield Parade, Bankstown 2200
When the topic of Sydney’s best pho crops up, Pho An regularly gets a nod from pho enthusiasts. I was a little skeptical that the best pho could come from somewhere other than Sydney’s Vietnamese heartland of Cabramatta, but in the interests of impartial noodle testing, I was happy to make the trip to Bankstown in the search for good bowl of pho.
Pho An is a large, brightly-lit setting with rows of wipe-down tables and chairs, reminiscent of a Chinatown food court. As soon as we walked in, we were quickly ushered to a table in the very back corner by our host. Our bums had no sooner been planted on our seats before our host asked us for our order. We quickly craned our necks to peer at the large menu board on the wall and concentrated as hard as we could in an attempt to decipher the Vietnamese and Chinese writing before our host finally put us out of our misery and asked whether we’d like to see a menu in English.
We looked over the menu to find that this place isn’t called Pho An for no reason – the only dishes they served were their specialty pho. There is a choice of beef or chicken, with further decisions to be made on the combinations of these animals that you fancied, including rare or cooked beef, cartilage, chicken, heart, liver, and blood jelly.
We couldn’t go past the pho topped with the beef combination of rare and cooked beef, tendon and tripe. The large serving is a mere $1 more than the small, but it is dauntingly bigger portion. The pho came topped with juicy pink, rare beef and feathery slices of tripe, and deep within the bowl of fragrant broth were hunks of smooth and buttery soft tendon, and silky noodles. The broth was wonderfully beefy with strong flavours and aromas of coriander, shallots and ginger, although it had a slight bitter aftertaste which was effectively neutralised by lemon juice and chilli sauce.
If it’s noodles you’re after, this is a no-fuss and slick operation that specialises in decent pho. Don’t bother with the menu – just go straight for the beef combination pho, and in no time, you will be in beefy bliss.