12 September 2013

Pho TK ~ Vietnamese - Market City, Chinatown

We must admit it was Luke Nguyen who put us onto Pho TK in one of those 'secret spot' articles in the Sydney Morning Herald. For once, it was refreshing to see something different suggested from the usual suspects trotted out time and again. Cheers for the new find, Luke.

We had seen this resto during our many visits to Taste of Cho but sometimes there are places you just don't really see. You walk past them for years, but they never quite register in your brain that they are there. Pho TK is one of those places we have never really registered, possibly because of its almost hidden location in the corner of Market City between the fresh fish shop and the IGA. May it be hidden no longer.

Pho tai - rare beef noodle soup - $9.95. Good pho. Nice clean broth. Pho is pho, we recommend you try some of the other great Vietnamese soup varieties to really get some interesting flavours.

Ca ba mau - triple sensation - $3.50. A killer icy drink\dessert with grounded mung bean, red bean, white bean, pandan jelly with shaved coconut flavoured ice and peanuts. We're rarely excited by these kinds of drinks but we loved this, the mix of slushy frozen coconut with crushed peanuts gave it a real kick. A must try.

Bun rieu - crab meat in tomato soup with rice vermicelli - $9.95. The broth was not as boiling hot as it gets at some other places, but at least you didn't burn your tongue on the first slurp. Miss Chicken hoped it would have some dill in it like they do at Pho Hanoi Quan in Marrickville and Gia Hoi, but Google tells us there are many variations of this classic soup.

Bánh Canh Cua - crab udon soup - $10.95. This is Mr Shawn's favourite soup when he's super hungry and thirsty, it's filling, rehydrating and super tasty. It's a thick, almost gelatinous soup that magically thins out as you eat it. It has lovely crabby flavours and a bonus prawn. Super happy.

Bún Thịt Nướng - grilled pork with cold rice noodles - $12.95. Miss Chicken was dismayed to see her favourite dish presented on a square plate rather than a bowl, but it was a bloody good bun thit nuong all the same. Great pork and the noodles were nicely presented in a layered stack. The noodles had a flavour all of their own.

Bún Suông Giò heo - $10.95. The menu describes this soup as 'sliced pork trotter with minced prawn broth' which may scare off some folks, but it's a clean easy-eatin' soup. The pig trotter is more like thin slices of roast pork leg, super yum. The prawn is even yummier than the pork, it's kind of like a fried prawn rissole. The soup is a fresh, clean, thin Chinese style broth. If you feel like a light, refreshing, rehydrating soup then this is for you. Highly recommended.

Grilled pork chop with pork loaf, shredded pork skin, rice and salad - $10.95. The pork was fresh off the grill, juicy and pull apart tender. The meatloaf here tasted freshly made, and the ribbons of pork skins weren't the usual dry assemblage. Pour a little of the sauce over and feast. Another ripper.

Bún mắm - salty fish soup - $10.95. We are huge noodle soup fiends and this one is new to us. It has a strong fishy odour, the odour of South East Asia. "Don't worry about the smell, it tastes great" says the boss dude when he sees us sniff it. Dang he's right. It's awesome. It's salty and fishy but not too fishy. The broth is thin and refreshing, it's a great rehydrator. In the soup is a couple of prawns, a couple of hunks of basa fish and some thin slices of pork.

Thick noodles in the bun mam.

Soup fixin's for the fish soup are a little different with some white and red cabbage, mint leaves and a bitey-ouch-hot chili sauce. The fresh ingredients mixed with the fishy soup are a little bit of wonderful.

Pho Tk is in Market City, right near the big IGA supermarket and Taste of Cho on the first level.

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