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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Pho Toan Thang, Flemington

Pho dac biet Vietnamese noodle soup at Pho Toan Thang, Flemington

There might be a dozen restaurants near Flemington station but Pho Toan Thang is the only one you can guarantee will have a queue out the front. A long-held favourite with locals, the dining room is heaving with families, toddlers, couples, groups of friends and wizened pensioners. During peak hours, the queue out the front can be twenty-deep.

Crispy chicken, pho and Vietnamese food at Pho Toan Thang, Flemington

Pho Toan Thang might have a Vietnamese name, but the menu covers both Vietnamese and Cantonese dishes. The dining room offers the usual DIY set-up, with chopsticks, cutlery, condiments and tissues-for-napkins on every table. Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to share your table with others during busy periods.

The classic pho dac biet, or combination beef rice noodle soup gets star billing on the menu, a huge bowl of clear broth packed with rice noodles, beef tendon, beef balls and thin shavings of beef.

Crispy chicken with tomato rice at Pho Toan Thang, Flemington
Crisp chicken with tomato rice $10.50

The crisp chicken with tomato rice is a winner, the skin rendered to a glassy tile that shatters at first bite.

Deep fried pork chop with tomato rice at Pho Toan Thang, Flemington
Deep fried pork chop with tomato rice $10.50

The deep-fried pork chop also comes up trumps, so juicy and sweet you’ll end up gnawing the bone to claim every last skerrick. But it’s the tomato rice that accompanies both that will blow your mind completely. Where other places tend to serve up a bright orange rice that’s heavy on the bottled tomato sauce and overly sweet, here it’s a deeper tinge of tan with more savoury notes, caramelised edges and hints of high heat smokiness known as “wok breath”.

Beef fried rice at Pho Toan Thang, Flemington
Beef fried rice $10

It’s this wok breath or “wok hei” that makes the fried rice here so special too. You’ll find bits of dark and crunchy morsels in amongst the beef fried rice, plumped up with peas, shallots and fluffy omelette clouds.

Fried rice with salted fish and chicken at Pho Toan Thang, Flemington
Fried rice with salted fish and chicken $10

For a real flavour hit, get the fried rice with salted fish and chicken, the salty bursts of preserved fish contrasting with the tender strips of marinated chicken.

Black pepper pork trotters at Pho Toan Thang, Flemington
 Black pepper pork trotters $12.50

If you’re still hungry, plough your way through an assortment of hot pots that run from black pepper pork trotters to duck feet with sea cucumber and mushrooms

Spring rolls at Pho Toan Thang, Flemington
 Spring rolls $6.50

They’ve got all your old skool favourites too, like spring rolls, fried wontons, sweet and sour pork and yep, even sizzling Mongolian beef.

Pho Toan Thang Vietnamese restaurant at Flemington

Pho Toan Thang on Urbanspoon

Pho Toan Thang
Shop 9, 90-95 The Crescent, Flemington, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9764 3687

Opening hours:
Monday to Sunday 9am - 8pm

This article appeared in the September 2014 issue of Time Out Sydney in my monthly Food & Drink column Eat This! [Read online

Read more of my Time Out Sydney reviews
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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 10/01/2014 04:00:00 pm


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