I’m glad, after suffering at the hands of numerous recent misses as well as the recent though delayed news of the loss of Parramatta favourite Lee Chef that we found a place like Pho Ha Noi Quan to fill the pho shaped hole in our lives.
The combination beef pho ($18) was an excellent triumph in comparison to other recent contenders, especially our recent expensive bowl from Got Pho in Carlingford. Two good things stood out about this Phở Dặc Biệt. First was the fact that this bowl of special beef pho was actually special, featuring a full complement of rare beef, brisket, balls, tripe, and tendon, rather than just the mix of beef, brisket and balls that seem to be more universally palatable. The presence of bits that weren’t strictly meat was something that I missed from Lee Chef as well as multiple other phos we’ve had recently, and the melt-in-your-mouth gelatinous texture of the beef tendon as well as the crunchy omasum were definitely most pleasurable and welcome. The other excellent quality of this particular bowl in comparison with others was its sheer thermal mass. This was a large serving (single size only) with a large volume of high temperature liquid, which meant that the soup was able to heat up all of the large volume of bean sprouts and Thai basil whilst retaining good warmth and open flavours of the broth. My only complaints about this bowl of pho are that I did not love the balls (though my partner gladly ate the vast majority of them), and I thought the soup was on the saltier side of the spectrum. Otherwise a job well done.
The pork chop noodle soup ($18) was a rice noodle soup in a rich chicken-based broth, a little oilier and probably a little saltier than the beef pho, and served with some bok choy mixed into the soup. The pork chop was served sliced on the side, fried with a bit of fish sauce flavour. My partner purposely sabotagued this review by giving me only lean bits of pork, which was not great for the taste and texture but ultimately better for me in my day two post laparoscopic cholecystectomy state. I didn’t love it, but apparently there were some fatty and juicy bits of pork that she had kept from me (for my own good).
I did not know about these green garlics, which challenged and scared me.
OVERALL I thought this was a very decent bowl of pho that I would like to have again.
Pho Ha Noi Quan Marrickville
346B Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204
(02) 8018 4928