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iPho. A lunch review

By johnboy 30 May 2012 25

pho

iPho is a new player in Garema Place and while at $11.50 it’s not eligible for the $10 lunch review I thought I’d Give it a go.

Pho (pronounced “fur”) is a staple of Vietnamese cuisine. A rich noodle soup with all the taste fireworks you’d expect from Vietnam.

I first encountered it on a wet night in Hanoi after a day I nearly died twice crossing the border from China. As just about the only good thing to happen to me that day it will always occupy a warm place in my heart.

iPho is having some fun with the iconic Apple branding and when I went in the clientelle was exclusively asian.

For $11.50 I got a basic beef pho, which was ready in the time it took me to go to the ATM next door.

In the picture above you can see all the goodies.

A bowl full of beef broth (they basically boil a roast for days to make it), beef, and noodles. Accompanying it is a bag of mung beans, chilli, lemon, and a sprig of mint. There’s also a little pot of thick sauces, one of them chilli.

At your desk chuck them all in (strip the leaves off the mint sprig), mix, and you get this:

pho

This one was a little on the sweet side for mine, but the beef was generous and I enjoyed it thoroughly. On a cold day this will most assuredly warm your cockles.

I’ll be adding it into my lunch rotation.

iPho on garema place


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iPho. A lunch review
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Keijidosha 1:56 pm 01 Jun 12

poetix said :

That looks really nice and fresh and they assure me they do a vego one too.

It isn’t on the menu, but I enquired and was happily accomodated. Despite the broth lacking a bit of temperature it was deeeeelicious.

pibloktoq 3:27 pm 31 May 12

1. Squeeze in the lemon (should be lime; ain’t no lemons in Vietnam) to taste, don’t chuck in the whole piece.

2. Don’t mix in the sweet or chilli sauce into the soup. That’s a dipping sauce for the meat.

3. At most places, the bean sprouts : noodles ratio is way off. You don’t have to add in all the sprouts; it’s a hot noodle soup, not a semi-crunchy lukewarm soggy sprout salad.

4. It’s not meant to be a spicy soup base. Try a bun bo hue if you’re after something like that. Add fresh chilli only to add some piquancy, not to overwhelm the other flavours.

AinslieGarden 2:54 pm 31 May 12

Pho Viet is actually the second branch of Pho Phu Quoc in Dickson, which in my opinion houses the best in Canberra. The menus are the same. There is also Can Tho in Weedon Close in Belco, worth a mention for the large and tasty bowls’o’beef contained within.

Cantoangel 2:17 pm 31 May 12

I went with a bunch of workmates when it first opened. I found the soup a bit watery in taste and everyone with me agreed. That said, it’s probably one of the best in Canberra as the other places I’ve been to (and that is many!) has been either too sweet, or too oily. I’m always critical though with any viet food since I grew up in Footscray 😛

On a side note, the Noodle Cafe does a pretty good Banh Xeo (Mung bean pancake)!

OzChick 10:44 am 31 May 12

blub said :

OzChick said :

blub said :

Mmm… pho…
Haven’t seen this place before. But Noodle Cafe, next door to HonkyTonks hidden in the corner makes pretty good pho too. It’s a couple dollars dearer though.

^ Yeah, but the chef there is Laos not Viet. Their pho is good but not the best. I think iPho is better.

What about SImply Pho in Gungas? Best in Canberra!

Is there anywhere that has pho in Belco?

Yes there is. Pho Viet. It’s on Beissel Street, Belconnen. Next to the lake.

Review: http://garydavidlum.com/2011/08/17/pho-viet-belconnen/

blub 10:04 am 31 May 12

OzChick said :

blub said :

Mmm… pho…
Haven’t seen this place before. But Noodle Cafe, next door to HonkyTonks hidden in the corner makes pretty good pho too. It’s a couple dollars dearer though.

^ Yeah, but the chef there is Laos not Viet. Their pho is good but not the best. I think iPho is better.

What about SImply Pho in Gungas? Best in Canberra!

Is there anywhere that has pho in Belco?

OzChick 11:09 pm 30 May 12

blub said :

Mmm… pho…
Haven’t seen this place before. But Noodle Cafe, next door to HonkyTonks hidden in the corner makes pretty good pho too. It’s a couple dollars dearer though.

^ Yeah, but the chef there is Laos not Viet. Their pho is good but not the best. I think iPho is better.

yellowsnow 10:30 pm 30 May 12

Keijidosha said :

EvanJames said :

I didn’t know it was pronounced “fur”.

News to me as well. The staff at Simply Ph? in Gunghalin told me it was pronounced “fuh”.

(Mostly) correct … the actual pronunciation is kind of midway between ‘fuh’, ‘fah’ and ‘fur’ (with the r in fur pronounced in the australian way, ie silent).

Endrey said :

iPho is an unacceptably bad name. I love it.

+1. But how long before Apple sues for copyright infringement and they get sucked into a protracted legal battle a la Samsung?

Surprised no one has mentioned the third type of pho on the iPho menu – combination pho, my favourite. I’ll never forget my dining companions’ faces when one of them asked the waiter ‘What’s combination pho?’

Waiter: ‘Oh, a bit of everything – Vietnamese meat balls, beef, other things’.

My friend: ‘Like what?’

Waiter: ‘You know, all the best things: Tripe, elbow tendons …’

Wish i had a camera to capture the disgust on my friends’ collective faces. Being a fan of offal (tripe in particular) without further hesitation combination was what i ordered. Though partly it was because i wanted to gross my friends, including by covertly throwing tripe pieces into their food.

ainm 8:12 pm 30 May 12

Regarding pronunciation of pho – one theory is that the word supposedly derives from the French word ‘feu’ (like pot-au-feu).

Endrey 7:20 pm 30 May 12

iPho is an unacceptably bad name. I love it.

blub 7:19 pm 30 May 12

Mmm… pho…
Haven’t seen this place before. But Noodle Cafe, next door to HonkyTonks hidden in the corner makes pretty good pho too. It’s a couple dollars dearer though.

Will have to try this place.

OzChick 6:53 pm 30 May 12

silvernitrate said :

i remember having pho for the first time and seeing these wierdly shaped and textured balls floating in the soup. I chewed on it and it was quite scary as jelly seemed to push its way out. But it tasted good and was fun to eat.
Then i found out they were balls.

^ They are called beef balls. It is just beef that has been put through a food processor into meat balls.

silvernitrate 6:00 pm 30 May 12

i remember having pho for the first time and seeing these wierdly shaped and textured balls floating in the soup. I chewed on it and it was quite scary as jelly seemed to push its way out. But it tasted good and was fun to eat.
Then i found out they were balls.

jessieduck 5:35 pm 30 May 12

Yeah, no, I am allergic to MSG. Trust me. It isn’t in my head. It’s a bummer too because that soup looks delish.

Keijidosha 4:17 pm 30 May 12

EvanJames said :

I didn’t know it was pronounced “fur”.

News to me as well. The staff at Simply Ph? in Gunghalin told me it was pronounced “fuh”.

Skidbladnir 4:13 pm 30 May 12

Pho (pronounced %u201Cfur%u201D)
You have a very weird accent that I never noticed before.

There%u2019s a reason Vietnamese tourist markets are full of the Pho King shirts%u2026
http://www.lovingpho.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/pho-wiki.mp3

(And for people complaining about allergies to MSG, you may discover that its not the MSG at all, and probably the booze you’re drinking, or some other allergy. Glutamate is in lots of things you wouldn’t expect. eg: Vegemite )

EvanJames 3:43 pm 30 May 12

I didn’t know it was pronounced “fur”. I wonder if it would be so popular if people knew it was Fur and not Pho. Pho sounds nice-ish; Fur sounds horrible. Would you like a bowl of Fur? No!

WRT the beef broth, they probably use a pressure cooker nowadays, reduces stock-making time markedly. They probably use beef bones, bake them or cook them brown in some way, and then stock-ify them.

MSG really helps with the end result, it’s pure umami, and in fact it was invented by the Japanese chap who coined the term Umami (and tagged it as one of the essential tastes).

poetix 3:22 pm 30 May 12

That looks really nice and fresh and they assure me they do a vego one too. (Usual procedure: read meaty RA review and ring.) $11.50 is maybe a tad expensive though for lunch. I do believe this sort of food is good for curing colds (no doubt that’s nonsense, but it’s tasty nonsense).

rosscoact 2:57 pm 30 May 12

if its authentic then it probably does have MSG, every market no matter how small will be selling MSG by the kilo

OzChick 2:18 pm 30 May 12

Yes, it is Vietnamese basil, not Vietnamese mint. The broth at iPho is not clear enough, I think some msg may be used but who cares, it tastes pretty awesome.

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