13 March 2010
Pho Bac Hai Duong Review ~ Vietnamese - Illawarra Road Marrickville
Bhun thit nuong almost as good as Vietnam in one of Marrickville’s classic old hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese restaurants.
One of the many "oh my god" travelling foodie moments we had in Vietnam was discovering bhun thit nuong for the first time, served by an old mama in the central market in the hilltop love town that is Dalat.
Bhun thit nuong is a simple street vendor dish of sweet and mildly spicy grilled pork served on top of cold thin rice noodles with some crush peanuts.
It is served with a small bowl of sweet chili sauce which you pour onto the main dish. Mix it all around in your bowl and dig in. We learnt this from an old street vendor mama using sign language.
The fresh clean taste of the rice noodles counters the meat and spices perfectly, it is so simple but so good.
Bhun thit nuong is one of those dishes that is just never as good as it is in the mother country. Perhaps it is because in Vietnam they cook the pork over hot coals, perhaps it is because the vendors often specialise in it, I'm not sure, it's just tastes better in Vietnam.
We've tried a few bun thit nuongs around Sydney, our favourite is Pho Bac Hai Duong. Pho Bac Hai Duong is one of those legendary old Vietnamese joints along Illawarra Road in Marrickville, it has been there longer than we can remember.
Pho Bac Hai Duong has everything we look for in street food joint: battered signage, formica tables and spartan decor. The family who runs it are lovely, we have been going there for years and love it.
There's a bunch of great Vietnamese joints along Illawarra Road, each seem to have a dish or two that they do better at the others, we'll cover them all in time. Incidentally these are great places to take kids, the owners love kiddies and there is precious little to destroy.
Pho Bac Hai Duong is at 304 Illawarra Road, Marrickville.