But we're not journalists, we're not professional food critics, we're bloggers, enthusiastic amateurs, hacks. And proud.
Many folks assume food bloggers want to be paid food critics but we can think of nothing worse. We only really know one other food blogger, and she doesn't want to be a paid food critic either. So in our experience 100% of food bloggers don't want to be paid food critics. How's that for journalistic integrity?
If we were proper food critics we'd be sitting here scratching our heads wondering what an earth do we write about Pho LV? The food is pretty good like most hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese joints, not the kind of place to make a trip across town for, but certainly a good option if you're in the area (or the queue at Menya Mappen is too long). How would we fill a 400 word review when we've only got two: "pretty good"?
We salute the poor food critics who get marched off to the many same-same restaurants, cafes and bistros around town, and manage to fill a column about it.
Lucky for us unpaid hacks we can choose where we eat. And for those of us who refuse free food and PR gigs we have no obligations to write about somewhere we didn't like. We can blurt out our unbalanced opinions and dodgy spelling like somebody out there is actually interested.
And that's why we can stand and proudly say we love Pho LV. They do a mean noodle soup and they have a super tops auntie running the kitchen, the wait staff are nice, and it's a calm place to sit down and read a book over lunch, it's a little escape from the city. Thank the lord we're not proper journalists, otherwise we would have to crap on for for a few paragraphs about nothing. Perish the thought.
Pho LV looks a little flash for this type of joint, but it is 100% genuine hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese, complete with boxes of softdrink on the floor. We love the outside seats.
Pho nam & Pho tai - $10.50. The classic beef noodle soup with cooked or raw beef. The first visit we thought "yeah this is ok pho" and on the second visit it was "wow", the broth was so nice'n'beefy.
Seafood noodle soup - $12.50. A simple Chinese style broth with a little bit of a Vietnamese flavour to it. It's pricey for a noodle soup but it's quite a good soup, plus it's a large serve with plenty of seafood for your dollar. Choose egg or rice noodles.
Egg noodle soup with crispy skin chicken - $12. This dish is a favourite of ours and they do a pretty good version of it here. The chook is served on the side and has a light brittle crispy skin. The egg noodle soup is classic simple Chinese style. They do a really good noodle soup here.
Bun thit nuong cha gio - $12.50. Grilled pork, crunchy fried spring rolls and a little salad on top of vermicilli noodles. Lovely smokey bbq-y pork. Mix it all together.
Com ga nuong - $11. Grilled chicken with rice ($1 extra for tomato rice). Quite a nice piece of grilled chook with classic lemongrass-y Vietnamese flavours. Pretty good, though we reckon the pork chop would be even better. Tomato rice is a nice change to regular rice, and it's always a little different wherever you go. The tomato rice is mild in flavour, not overly ketchup-y, we like it.
Com suon nuong cha trung - $12.50. Pork chop, fried googie, pork cake and rice (add $1 for tomato rice). Great pork chop, a nice dish but for the money we'd head down to central for a pork chop\broken rice combo which has a bit more stuff and a bit more magic.
Vietnamese coffee - $4. Brewed using the drip filter just like we had in Vietnam. It tastes like Vietnamese coffee too. Proper Vietnamese coffee is hard to find outside of Cabramatta. Very happy.
Iced coffee - $4.50. Super sweet in true South East Asian style.
Pho LV \ Just Pho is in the Skyview Plaza, 545-551 George Street. In the same arcade as Menya Mappen and Xi'an Noodle House, front is on Kent Street.