I’ve dined at Pho Phu Quoc in Dickson a couple of times now. It’s a great place for fast Vietnamese food with an extensive menu. House specialties include camp fire beef, roast duck, chilli mussels, Vietnamese sour soup and steam boat. On a Friday night, the place is absolutely packed. There are always people coming and going so it wasn’t long before a table was available. Menus, a bottle of tap water, and glasses were provided quickly.
My friend and I both ordered beef pho. I ordered the regular sized rare beef noodle soup, pho tai ($12.90) while my friend ordered the same dish but paid $3 extra for a large serving. Our fresh bean sprouts, basil, chilli and lemon arrived shortly after ordering. The broth was light but had the depth of a broth that had been simmering for a few hours. I also found it was nicely balanced and that I didn’t need to add in a squeeze of lemon or anything else. It was great on its own. The half-rare beef slowly cooked in the broth and there were enough noodles to fill me up. My friend’s pho was served in a much larger bowl and seemed to have more noodles and broth in it, but the same portion of beef. He couldn’t finish it all.
On another outing, I had a craving for com tam (broken rice with a pork chop, shredded pork, steamed meat loaf and an egg). The Pho Phu Quoc version was presented neatly on a large rectangular plate. I was asked if I wanted a fried egg, and I immediately said ‘yes please’ as you can’t have com tam without the fried egg. The pork chop looked like it would be tasty as I could see the pepper, minced lemongrass and garlic coating. Sadly it lacked that dynamic flavour profile and I could hardly taste the lemongrass. The meat loaf was odd – I don’t believe it was made with ground pork and didn’t have any mushrooms. I’m all for trying things made out of the norm, but the meat loaf seriously lacked flavour. I was happy with the fried egg which I popped and let ooze into everything else.
I also couldn’t resist ordering home made curry puffs ($4.50 for two pieces). The pastry itself was flakey and buttery but not oily, and the meat and vegetable filling was delicious.
Although the com tam wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, I’m still returning to Pho Phu Quoc to sample the various other dishes available. There are a few vegetarian options with vegetables and bean curd in the dishes. It doesn’t seem to be a place where you can stay and chat for hours. Speed seems to be a strong focus, getting people in and out quickly. Prices are cheap and service is fast. It’s a well run, fast paced Asian eatery.
Pho Phu Quoc
5 Badham Street, Dickson
Wednesday to Monday: 11.00am-3.00pm; and 5.00pm-10.00pm. Closed Tuesdays.
Value for money 9/10
FPJ score 24.5/30
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