PERTH, Australia – Pho truly is one of the great noodle dishes. Hailing from Vietnam, this simple dish of beef noodle soup has spread across the globe as a hallmark of how simplicity can be magical. That said, some of the best pho can be found in Australia. So, just how does Perth fare with its offerings?
We checked out three of the most highly recommended spots around Perth for pho, and here’s what we think. At each joint, we opted for Pho Dac Biet so that we could keep the comparison on an even keel. Across the board, the beef comes rare so that it continues to cook to perfection in the steaming broth that it is served in.
Phu Pho (AUD10.50,USD8)
Our first stop was Phu Pho along Albany Highway. As is the case with Australia in general, the portions here are more than generous. Without question, of the three places we visited, Phu Pho had the best slices of beef. They were tender and plentiful.
Unfortunately, the broth itself left a lot to be desired. Instead of having an intense punch of flavour, it was merely a whisper of what we’re used to.
800 Albany Hwy, East Victoria Park
WA 6101, Australia
Phone: +61 8 9361 2139
Opening Hours: Mon – Thu 5:30pm – 9:30pm
Fri – Sun 5:30pm – 10pm
Tra Vinh Vietnamese Restaurant (AUD12,USD9.15)
We’re well aware that Pho Dac Biet is a combination of any part of the cow, but when our bowl arrived with a huge strip of tripe across the top, we were a little surprised.
It’s a shame, but we recommend Tra Vinh even less than Phu Pho. The meat was merely a textural element and had no taste to speak of; and while the bowl was brimming with soup, it barely had any flavour to it. This was, without doubt, the worst pho of the lot.
149 Brisbane St, Perth
WA 6000, Australia
Phone: +61 8 9228 2788
Opening Hours: Sun – Wed 10am – 9pm
Thu – Sat 10am – 10pm
Mama Tran (AUD15,USD11.45)
We absolutely understand why Mama Tran has a bunch of outlets. Of the choices for pho in Perth, it comes out tops. If you pop by any of their outlets over lunch, you’ll have a tough time finding a table. The dining concept at Mama Tran’s hawks a ‘fast food’ style, and it was probably the most satisfactory bowl of pho we had on our trip.
The caveat here is that we still wouldn’t recommend you bother.
The beef was sparse, and everything was tossed in (beansprouts, mint and onions) – a strange departure from the pho tradition of having these greens served on the side. The broth, while far more flavoursome than what we had before, still fell drastically short of what we would classify as pho-some.
Milligan Street Shop 6/36-40
Phone: +61 8 9481 6688
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri 7:30am – 3pm
Conclusively, we’d suggest that you skip pho entirely while in Perth. There is some really good food to be found in this city, but it is not of the Vietnamese variety. – The Binge