Fisherman's Plate is an excellent example of how looks can sometimes be deceiving. Tucked into Bond Street, in a shop that looks like your run-of-the-mill chippie, is some of the best Vietnamese food in the city. As a rumpled Dom Post clipping on the wall attests, this spot is (was?) the go-to spot for Aragorn himself in the early 2000s — Viggo Mortenson was known to pop in for his regular order of fish and chips. If you're after a fried fix, FP definitely has fish and chips, burgers and hot dogs, but these days those in the know go for the phở (don't read this article out loud, it doesn't rhyme).
Phở, the standby soup of deep, spicy broth swimming with noodles, fresh herbs, sprouts and rare beef is seriously soul salve on Wellington's winter nights when you can't be bothered going home and cooking something for yourself. Get a table, settle in and order a big bowl — alongside rare beef, the menu offers chicken, roast duck and bamboo, lemongrass and ginger sautéed lamb, red wine-braised gravy beef, and special combination iterations of phở ranging in price from $13 to $16.50 for the more expensive sautéed lamb option. Each serving comes with a bowl of greens to scoop into the soup and a little dish of hot chilli sauce and lemon wedges, so that you can tailor the seasoning to how you like it. The portion is also really generous.
Besides phở, the wider menu is extensive. I can vouch wholeheartedly for the prawn and avocado spring rolls ($8), the pad thai (less sweet than other spots in town, $13), and the stir fried segment of the menu. From peeking over at what other people are ordering, the burgers also look like a classic choice.
If I were trying to review this place I'd say that the atmosphere is nothing to write home about or something, but that's exactly it — it's the lowkey hospitality, generosity and fish and chip shop feeling that makes the atmosphere. This is a blatant love letter to my local phở shop. You'll always see someone you know, and it's an excellent spot to people watch. The tables down the back are always full of families, couples, solo diners and everyone in between. This is a well-loved place, and for good reason.
I'm going to leave the phở puns to you.