16 June 2010

Pho Bac Hai Duong Review #2 ~ Vietnamese - Marrickville

We have soup cravings and head to one of our old favourites, Pho Bac Ha Duong Vietnamese Restaurant, Illawarra Road, Marrickville. This is our favourite place in Marrickville for Bun Thit Nuong but tonight is for soup.

Pho Bac Ha Duong has a tick in every box when it comes to a fine Vietnamese street food joint: condiment set on every table, tea without asking for it, and a beautifully dodgey interior, and exterior.

Miss Chicken picks the winner tonight, a fancy pants Bun Bo Hue, a spicy Hue style combination soup with thick vermicelli noodles. The broth was thin yet big on flavour with big beefy and fish sauce notes, love at first slurp. The noodles were like spaghetti, a nice change. Big meaty chunks of mystery. Fantastic. About $10.

One of our readers suggested we try Vietnamese sweet and sour soup, so we did, this one is the prawn version. I can't remember the exact name but I remember the taste: delicious. It is an excellent soup to share as there are no noodles and the flavour is quite strong and sweet, like a less-sour and less hot tom yum. The sweet and sour flavour is cut with some fresh herbs, okra and bean sprouts. Normally I'm not a bean sprout guy but in this soup they are magic.

The soup came with a good half dozen of so good-sized prawns, worth the extra couple of bucks at $16. A larger party sized version is available for $21.

Pho Bac Hia Duong as been a bit of a favourite of ours, but then again every Vietnamese restaurant in Marrickville is a favourite of ours. This place was three-quarters full on a cold Wednesday night.

Pho Bac Hai Duong is at 304 Illawarra Road, Marrickville.

BTW we saw a food court under construction on Marrickville Road, next to the Tavern, this could be good folks...

Pho Bac Hai Duong on Urbanspoon


  1. Fantastic Pho here. I agree I think it is one of the better vietnamese places in Marrickville.

    Unfortunately the Korean BBQ has shut and replaced with a vietnamese this one looks a bit more upmarket.

    Hopefully a Korean store will turn up in the food court. Hope the tavern clients don't hang out in the food court as that won't be good for breakfast.

  2. Lol - yes, that Tavern is a scary looking place, it's pretty much the only pub in inner Sydney we haven't had a beer in (there's a scarier looking one in Waterloo).

    We heard that the Korean was a winner, some variety at least. The replacement restaurant looks a bit not quite here or there - I'm sure the food is good but for some reason it doesn't scream at us to come in, though we will anyway :-)

  3. "meaty chunks of mystery" hahahaha that is so gold!

  4. Mr Chicken - OMG! You have Reality Raver commenting on your blog post! You're famous now...she's big in the world of MasterChef blogging and I heard her(and other Reality TV blogs)! Soup looks yummy...I'm pleased to see no baby birdies in googy eggs!

  5. Yes, and the royal Chocolatezuze in all in one week - we are giddy and starstruck :-)

  6. OMG - I'm now addicted to Chocolatezuze's blog. How can she be so thin, yet eat so much food. The world is just not fair.

  7. I'm in awe of Chocolatesuze's Krispy Kreme burger -http://www.chocolatesuze.com/2010/01/08/luther-burgers-aka-krispy-kreme-donut-burgers - now that's a Scooby Snack!

  8. ..but for the ultimate in unfair calorie to body mass ratios visit: http://leaveroomfordessert.com/

  9. I've spied Leave Room for Dessert before as Miss Chicken and I know the bloggers sister...who' skinny too! This is so unfair!

  10. Miss M - you crack me up, I also have wondered how Chocolate Suze manages to eat all that crap and stay whippet thin.

    I will check out Leave Room For Dessert

  11. i prefer the bun bo hue from huong huong on marrickville road. it has more of a lemongrass flavour, which i prefer in a bun bo hue over anise :)

  12. Thank you for your fantastic blog. This place and the pork roll place have been favourites of ours, so when my son moved to Marrickville we were very pleased!
    Had the beef pho on Saturday - which was delicious, but the dumpling soup with BBQ pork was a bit disappointing - maybe just in comparison with the pho.
    Thanks again!

  13. The soup is too sweet. Hi Duong used to own and run the restaurant; the soup was more authentic vietnamese and far less sweet. Then the new owneres bought it a few years ago and the patronage continued but it isn't for me.

    Up the road on Marrickville Road proper is a place called "Trai Mai" (or something very close to that). I liked that but my wife & daughter complained that the soup was tasteless. I wouldn't know; I added heaps of garlic and chilli sauce to it and it was great.

    Hi miss Hi (that was his actual name).


Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

Our ethics: We pay for all our own meals and travel (though sometimes Mum shouts us).