iPho in Garema Place has opened up a second restaurant of the same name on the corner of Marcus Clarke and Rudd Street. This is great news given the limited amount of seating available at the Garema Place eatery. I’ve been to the new iPho twice now for lunch mainly because the Garema Place eatery was packed with no available tables. The new eatery was also busy but we managed to score the last table for two.
Of course I had to try the beef pho with beef flank (around the $14 mark?). I was happy with the generous portion of beef, noodles and soup. My friend ordered the regular beef pho and was really pleased with his meal too. Fresh bean sprouts, basil, chilli and wedges of lemon were provided for us to share.
We also tried the Vietnamese coffee ($3.50) which came with a drip into condensed milk. Very sweet from the condensed milk but I quite like that. It tastes like the liquid form of Kopiko coffee candy.
The second time I dined in, I ordered the fish net spring rolls ($4) which were tasty in the nahm jim sauce, though there was more ‘net’ roll than filling. I did love how wonderfully crunchy they were.
I decided to try the com tam of broken rice, pork chop, fried egg and steamed egg meatloaf (I think around the $14 mark). The pork chop was very small and I didn’t find it as flavoursome as some other Vietnamese restaurants. I did like the ginger on the marinade but it needed more flavour. The steamed egg meatloaf had no pork in it so it was very white in colour. I don’t mind things being changed up, but this meatloaf had absolutely no flavour as it consisted of mainly vermicelli noodles and egg, so it was disappointing. It also only had the tiniest sprinkle of the woodear mushrooms. There was no salt or pepper that I could taste. The dish didn’t come with the shredded pork either. I might have been really hungry that day, as I didn’t find the dish very filling. Not the best com tam I’ve had and I wouldn’t recommend it.
I noticed iPho has the Bun Bo Hue, a spicy noodle soup originating from Hue. After our visit to Hue last year, it’s definitely a dish I want to try next. Staff were friendly and took our orders quickly on both occasions. The food surprisingly arrived quickly even though it was a packed house. During my second dining experience at iPho, my friend ordered the beef pho, however no one brought out the fresh bean sprouts for him. Again, it was pretty busy and I’m sure it would have come out had we asked for it.
The second iPho can be found on the corner of Marcus Clarke and Rudd Streets in the city/Acton area. It is open six days a week Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner. Closed Sundays and public holidays.
Value for money 8/10
FPJ score 23/30
If you want more random photos and updates about food, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: