Skip to content Skip to main navigation


Part of the Canberra community
for over 30 years

iPho. A lunch review

By johnboy - 30 May 2012 25


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:


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

What’s Your opinion?

Post a comment
Please login to post your comments, or connect with
25 Responses to
iPho. A lunch review
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

(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.

Jivrashia 2:16 pm 30 May 12

Thanks for sharing JB. I love hot noodle soup – hot in the sense of temperature as well as chilli.

Hope it doesn’t go the same way as Godori, which was just around the corner from there, but for whatever reason closed their doors only a few years after opening.
The other good place for hot noodle soup, or ramen, is Tasuke.

(and JB, “give it a go”, and “basic beef pho, which was”. ;P )

johnboy 2:11 pm 30 May 12

could be basilmint, or vietnamese mint.

No idea about MSG.

2.0 2:08 pm 30 May 12

I second iPho, such good food. I hope it stays around for a while.

Also correct me if im wrong, but I thought it is served with basil and not mint.

ramblingted 2:07 pm 30 May 12

Proper Vietnamese mint? And does it have MSG?

G-Fresh 2:01 pm 30 May 12

Looks like a nice relaxing place to sit down on a shady cold canberra winter afternoon and freeze your toes off.

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Copyright © 2017 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. | |

Search across the site