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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Pho An Restaurant, Bankstown

I still remember my first time at Pho An.

It was about ten years ago. Back then they were in their old premises, and the decor was, well, non-existent. As we sat down at our table, a waiter seemed to materialise from thin air and almost leapt on us with questioning eyes waiting for our order. Brandishing an electronic keypad(which was impressive itself back in those days), he tapped in our orders impatiently and with furious speed.

As he strode his way to the kitchen I began my obligatory inspection of the table condiments when~~BAM! Splash! BAM! BAM! Clunk. Clang. Whoosh.

Three giant bowls of steaming pho in a blink of an eye. Ready! Now! Eat!

That's when we started calling it McPho. Especially when they took our bowls away before we'd even finished eating!

These days Pho An has indeed become a McPho of Sydney-wide success. They've moved a few doors down, they have matching furniture, and the seating capacity is akin to a university dining hall. There's a motion-sensor glass door entrance, a funky looking logo, and a sign that isn't blue and red text on backlit white.

And their pho is still notoriously speedy. It's the only thing on the menu.

I mean you can have it ten different ways with beef (rare beef, cooked beef, brisket beef, flank, special brisket, tendon, beef roll, cartilage, tripe or beef combination), and five different ways with chicken (chicken, chicken and eggs, chicken and intestine, chicken with rare or cooked beef or chicken combination) but... they're all pho.

Pho (pronounce it like fur? with a question mark on the end) is Vietnamese noodle soup for the soul. Clear sweet broth bathes a tangle of slippery fresh rice noodles. Reclining atop is the flesh of your desire along with a few slices of thinly shaved onion and a smattering of coriander and shallots.

The fun lies in the accompanying plate of greens. Submerge your raw slices of beef into the steaming hot broth with a poke of your chopsticks, and then give it some privacy with a curtain of raw bean sprouts, torn shards of Vietamese basil and a generous douse of freshly squeezed lemon.

Pho is the cure-all for any ailment. It's so darn healthy but it tastes so good.

I know many who swear that Pho An is the best in Sydney, and who will traverse their way across town to satiate a craving.

Their pho is reliably good but at $9.70 for a "small" (they mean regular) serving, it should be. You can upsize to a large for $10.80, and if you're a real carnivore, you can request extra meat for another $1.50.

See? It's just like Macca's.

(Except you know, um, without the toys. And the freaky-looking clown. And the global corporatisation of... Oh ok. Forget it...)

Pho An on Urbanspoon

Pho An Restaurant
27 Greenfield Parade, Bankstown, Sydney
Tel: 02 9796 7826

Open 7 days, 7am - 9pm
Surcharge $1.10 per person on public holidays.
17 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 9/20/2005 11:14:00 pm


  • At 9/21/2005 2:37 am, Blogger Cat said…

    mmm more Vietnamese food! now if i ever find myself in Sydney, i'll know where to buy pho mmmmm pho

  • At 9/21/2005 12:53 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's incredibly yummy but it ain't healthy though! It is full of fat and drinking the soup alone is enough to clog up one's arteries. Be careful!

  • At 9/22/2005 12:48 am, Blogger FooDcrazEE said…

    delish. misses a good bowl of Pho Tai- rare beef pho ( more like pronoucing fur with a er sound towards the end. fur er)

    The only thing missing is the vietnamese salads.

    Hmm.. hungry for one too.

  • At 9/22/2005 5:53 am, Blogger boo_licious said…

    The pho looks and sounds good! I can imagine it must be great since there is so many vietnamese in sydney.

  • At 9/22/2005 9:17 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    ah poop. I was in Bankstown last week, hungry and feeling like a bowl of soup, or something.

    A bowl of Pho would have been just the thing too ...

    I'll file this one away for next time I'm out there.

  • At 9/22/2005 9:28 am, Blogger nicole said…

    i have been searching for great pho in Sydney after a little trip to Vietnam in July. Thanx for the tips - I'm gonna check it out next time I'm Bankstown way.

  • At 9/22/2005 11:23 am, Blogger Kelly said…

    I've seen you mention pho before but I never really knew what it was. Thanks for this great description! (And pronunciation guide, too!)

  • At 9/23/2005 6:48 pm, Blogger Joycelyn said…

    hi ag, ooh pho an, i remember this joint - their pho is pretty spectacular! terrific post, as always...

  • At 9/25/2005 2:49 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I do remember this place .. but only been there once.. :) and yes.. it was yummy..!!
    i wish i have had more.. but i was too busy .. working then.. :(

  • At 9/28/2005 10:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ahh yummy. Pho An. I have been there many times and never once been disappointed (I used to work in Bankstown). Without a doubt the best in Sydney. Here's a tip - want to try some more unusual style Vietnamese? Rice Wrap in Bondi Junction. It's new(ish).. The calamari entree dish (calamari rolled up into a ball and fried with dill) is sublime!

  • At 9/28/2005 10:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh yeah and how can you resist their tag line "So pho so good"? Hilare..

  • At 8/16/2008 11:02 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Awww man its the best Pho and I agree with the McPho! Didn't SBS's foodlovers show mention the use of sandworms in the stock which gives AN's the better taste?

  • At 8/31/2008 10:02 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Darren - Sandworms sound very intriguing! I don't remember that, but would love to find out if it really is true.

  • At 1/04/2010 6:36 pm, Blogger cafedave said…

    Turned up for some takeaway pho - large $13 plus $1 for takeaway - comes in an anrestaurant.com bag with pre-printed reheating instructions. Ready in <3 mins. Amazing.

  • At 1/05/2010 12:14 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi cafedave - Wow, I didn't realise takeaway pho had gotten so fancy! Sounds good :)

  • At 9/25/2010 7:21 pm, Anonymous wBANG. said…

    i was there for lunch today :) its a winner for my whole family :)we've been going there for aaaaages!

  • At 6/05/2011 3:45 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Psst. I have a secret: I don't like Pho An - nothing against it, just don't like their broth as much as my mum's, but I guess everyone can say that. But I did like your post! Makes me feel like jumping back on a plane to Sydney. Love your blog


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