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.

Pho Bac Hai Duong

1 comment:

  1. How freaky is that !!!!
    I used to live at 300 Illawarra Road, Marrickville in the 70s as a kid. Just two shops up.
    It used to be a vibrant Greek community back then. In fact most of the shops on Illawarra Rd and Marrickville Rd had Greek writing advertising their goods in them days. If my memory serves me correctly where "Pho Bac Hai Duong" is now used to be a Greek club of sorts. Just a small meeting place for the local Greeks who used to meet there. Next door to our place was Mick Mazza's bike shop. My dad used to get into arguments with Mr. Mazza about the paint spray that used to get on our laundry because of his activities spray painting his push bikes in the backyard he used to restore. Yep them were the good old 70s.


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