16 May 2013
Fast Pho ~ Vietnamese - Ultimo
Fast Pho lives up to its name, offering speedy and tasty Vietnamese dishes to starving students and Ultimo workers.
A few years ago the Broadway end of Mountain Street had a Nando's chicken store that exploded one night. After the super crisped bones and chook skin had been cleared away, Yai Ma Thai opened. As things tend to happen in the world of street food, it closed down overnight and Fast Pho opened.
The off Broadway location and good lunchtime prices of mostly $7 to $10 make Fast Pho a popular spot, there's often not a free table if you get in too late for lunch or come with a big crowd.
On each neat wooden table are the usual pho fixin's, hoisin sauce and sriracha chilli sauce and sometimes some Maggi Seasoning as well. The menu is short and easy, bowls of Pho, special Pho, chicken soup, prawn soup, noodles with sides of crisp chicken or pork chops, tomato rice with the same and even plain old chicken and chips for the fussy buggers you sometimes end up with in work lunch groups.
Daily special: Stewed duck noodle soup $10: a whole maryland style cut of duck leg that falls off the bone into the aniseed based broth. A shitake mushroom has soaked up the broth and adds spurts of liquid when you bite down. Not often on the menu so good luck to you if you happen to be there when it is.
Special beef noodle soup $10: a generous bowl of broth and beef, quarters of beef meatballs (like bakso), gobs of soft tendon, a pile of seaweed like shreds of tripe and rice noodles. Dunk the rare beef deep into the hot broth for a bit of extra cooking time if you don't like it so pink.
Noodle soup with Fried Chicken - $10. A good portion of crisp skin chicken with a generous soup filled with rice noodle. All served with fresh bean sprouts and basil and extra chilli sauce for the chicken.
Pork chops with tomato rice - $7. The real beauty of this menu is it's simplicity. You can chop and change your noodle soup or tomato rice with pork chop or crisp fried chicken. There's even a sizzling beef option for the rice at $10. This dish was a generous feed for only seven bucks, a good eggy rice with some crunchy pickled veggies on the side, a little sweet sauce for dipping and sprinkling and two flat, juicy pork chops on a little bone that you can contentedly suck and crunch on for a while after everything else has been eaten.
Fast Pho Vietnamese Food is at 84 Mountain St, Ultimo opposite the restored church. Get there before 12.30 if you need a bigger table for loads of friends. It's also open until 9.00 most nights.