From the outside, Phở Viet doesn't look like it will change your life forever. It's the new kid on the block, sandwiched between some of Newtown's big players that have run the show for years now. We anticipated Phở Viet would have to pull out a stellar performance to earn its place amongst Riddiford Street's finest.
The odds were stacked against Phở Viet from the beginning as we brought along an obstinate pork and phở hating friend and proceeded to order a pork phở. This was the ultimate test. Fortunately after an hour and a half of intense consumption, she was not only converted to the cuisine she had detested prior, but described the experience as equivalent to falling in love. Phở Viet had turned abhorrence into devotion, loathing into adoration, revulsion into homage; all through the magic of phở. In our experience, Phở Viet transformed attitudes, preferences and lives forever.
So what was so special about this phở? It is the kind of meal we will tell our children about and hope that they will tell their children and so forth. The experience of the phở could be compared to obtaining a level up in a Mario game, marrying your true love, or laying eyes upon your first born child. With each spoonful of the delicious broth, we felt restored, rejuvenated and more alive. The quality of the phở cannot and should not be denied. The succulent crispy pork were treasures amongst an already bountiful heaven in a bowl. This phở was a thing of beauty and good for the soul.
We also tried the seared five spice duck which was a steamed rice dish with a chicken broth soup. The duck was outstanding and seasoned with a unique amassing of spices but the staff would not let us in on the secret of what they were.
Accompanying the incredible and authentic tasting meals, we enjoyed Vietnamese iced coffee or cà phê sữa đá. The drip coffee with condensed milk from Vietnam is a sweet and delicious compliment to the meal. Also available and served hot is the rich coffee: cà phê.
All your favourite Vietnamese bangers are available as well as some original dishes. Banh mi is a kind of Vietnamese sandwich and there are six different types available: regular, double meat, tofu, lemongrass beef and crispy pork. Phở xào are wok fried noodles that will definitely fill you up for only $13.90 for the grilled chicken or tofu and vegetables. Or $14.90 will get you the crispy roast pork or prawns. Gỏi are freshly tossed salads that are backed by a delicious Vietnamese-style dressing. Bún or vermicelli noodles are served with bean sprouts, fresh herbs, peanuts, nuoc cham side sauce and of course vermicelli rice noodles. The food is simply top notch and the service is outstanding.
We were not surprised to learn that the kitchen is run by a five-star chef from Vietnam. You might want to reserve a seat if you go for dinner as this place was packed on a cheeky Thursday evening. A great new addition to Newtown's reputation and a quiet spot where you can find outstanding phở and true happiness.