I have enough trouble choosing from one pager brunch menus, so if you’re ever caught dining me with at Vietnamese, I sincerely apologise in advance for the length of time you’ll be waiting for me to decide on what to order. Especially when there’s a menu as enticing as the one at I Love Pho.
It might be a bit of a cheesy name, but it voices my thoughts exactly. I mean, who doesn’t like Pho?
But it’s not just Pho that they serve here. And despite the more upmarket location and ambience, the menu is equally as authentic what you would find in Vietnamese restaurants in Cabramatta. And just as extensive too. Hence the indecision.
We start with what’s at the beginning of the menu, that is the Rice Paper Rolls. And whilst the fresh variety are always a winner, cold veggies and vermicelli isn’t exactly on the top of our minds having just walked out of the freezing cold. Luckily, they also offer the warmer variety were perfect!
Whilst not quite as popular as their cooler counterparts, these warm rice paper rolls are no less tasty. A thin sheet of steamed rice paper, wrapping a light filling of marinated meat (we chose duck) and herbs, it’s not unlike the steamed rice rolls you would get from yum cha. Steamed fresh to order, these rolls arrive piping hot, the rice paper so impressively thin it’s almost see through!
That said, the fresh spring rolls so make an appearance in our order of Mixed Entree- a godsend for indecisive diners like myself. I Love Pho’s entree comes packed with a little bit of everything, a serve size large enough to be a main for one!
A smart move if you do, as you probably won’t want to be sharing the juicy grilled pork sausage. Packed with plenty of flavour from the aromatic herbs and finished with a touch of sweetness, it’s easily one of our favourites. And if sweet’s your thing, you’ll enjoy munching on the sugarcane wrapped in grilled prawn paste too.
It’s hard to miss the loud shatter as you bite into the extremely crunch meat spring rolls, a result of using a rice paper based wrapper rather than the usual egg pastry variety. Perhaps a little on the hard side for some, but for me, spring rolls are all about the crunch. And this one is crispy perfection.
Also delightfully crispy is the Vietnamese Pancake or Banh Xeo.
It’s a crispy-edged crepe, made from a coconut rice flour batter and whilst it may appear omelette like in appearance, just cut through the wafer like texture and you’ll realise it’s completely different.
You’ll want to dig in straight away before it starts cooling down and softening on the underside. Not a difficult task at all as the tasty plump juicy prawns, pork and lightly sauteed bean sprouts keep it exciting.
We love that there’s also a vegetarian option, and though we’re sticking with the traditional filling tonight, we’re sure the vegetarian option also comes bursting with filling too!
There’s plenty more enticing options on their menu, but one cannot go past a simple, nourishing Pho, especially given their name. We’re expect nothing less than an amazing Pho and we were not at all disappointed by their Wagyu Beef Pho.
The rice noodles are soft and slippery and the slices of meltingly tender wagyu are a little different in texture to the normal beef slices we’re used to. In a good way though, and it’s well complimented by the beefiness of the aromatic Pho soup base, a result of ox bones melting into the soup that is cooked for some 24 hours. That’s some serious stuff there, and a sign that they truly do love their Pho!
Their kitchen also produces food for their Chao Catering business, which offers delicious fresh Vietnamese food for catering Sydney-wide. Check them out if you’re looking for something different for your next event!
Yvonne dined as a guest of I Love Pho and Ompty Media