Chinese Vietnamese

Pho Pasteur – Parramatta NSW Restaurant Review

Across the road from Parramatta’s Lee Chef is Pho Pasteur, a long-lived, almost 30-year old Vietnamese restaurant that’s since extended tendrils across Sydney.

We had the Large Special Beef Pho with extra meat ($20). The flavour of this pho was good, with a lighter tasting but still umami-packed soup, a mix of rare beef, beef tendon, beef rumen, and beef balls, and a garnish of freshly chopped shallot. Like the rest of the bowl, the serving of bean sprouts, mint, and chillis was fresh and adequate. Though the flavour was good, we thought that the balance of meats did skew heavily towards the rare beef side, with our large bowl only featuring one solitary beef ball cut in half, even though we had optioned it out with extra meat. The bowl, overall, is almost matched punch-for-punch with its cross-street neighbour, but I think that given the filling imbalance I’d lean slightly towards Lee Chef’s.

Though a big fan of quail egg in meals like malatang, I’d never actually eaten quail the bird until this visit to Pho Pasteur. I had seen my parents order it occasionally at Chinese restaurants as a child, however I was always too spooked by the small size of the bird to eat them. To be honest, after trying the quail at Pho Pasteur I don’t think I really missed out on much. The two whole quails ($18) were deep fried, and quite salty, served with a zesty dipping sauce. Though the quail pieces might have looked juicy from certain angles, a quick flip around revealed that the opposite service was positively concave – these were lean birds indeed. It took quite a bit of t to harvest the meat from these quail, which didn’t really taste that different to duck or chicken. I don’t think I’d order this again – I’d go straight for the crispy skin chicken which is also on offer at Pho Pasteur – but this may very well be a comment on my personal preferences rather than the restaurant’s ability.

I was not a big fan of this eggplant and pork mince hot pot ($17). Though the taste and size of this hot pot was good, it was just filled to the brim with oil, making it very difficult for me to eat without hating myself. Rice is a necessary evil whilst eating this dish, but perhaps a course of orlistat or plasmapheresis would be better accompaniments.

Pho Pasteur’s offerings have a great deal of crossover with nearby Lee Chef’s. One of Pho Pasteur’s strengths is its actual printed menu, which features photos of many of their dishes, hence not leaving things up to the imagination as Lee Chef does. I think that ultimately both restaurants provide good quality Vietnamese and Chinese food, and the restaurant of choice will be up to whichever one is open at the time (Lee Chef is closed on Sunday nights, but open later on other days).

Pho Pasteur Parramatta
137 Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
(02) 9635 0782


The Good Kitchen – Hurstville NSW Restaurant Review

I wanted to go to Canton Noodle House after work last night. I was so keen that I asked my girlfriend to drive me from work straight to the restaurant to optimise parking time. Unfortunately when we arrived at 8:45 the restaurant which had advertised itself to close at 9:45PM was already closed. So we went across the road to The Good Kitchen instead.

I was initially drawn to the Good Kitchen by a photo of 皮蛋瘦肉粥 on its Zomato page. This implied to me that it would be a quick and easy place to get a quick and easy feed. It was only until we were situated and tea had been served that I realised that The Good Kitchen is very much a legitimate restaurant, complete with its own live seafood tanks (more on that later), and not as accommodating for a quick and easy meal. My girlfriend will attest that I deliberated leaving after looking at the menu, but ultimately stasis was the basis of my decision.

Hokkien Fried Rice

I enjoyed the Hokkien Fried Rice. It was a large portion, with plenty of topping. The flavours were adequate but not what I was expecting from Canton Noodle House.

Spicy Eggplant with Minced Pork in Claypot

We felt that the Spicy Eggplant with Minced Pork in Claypot was somewhat middling. The eggplant we felt was not cooked enough and required too much biting and chewing. My girlfriend, who is the local expert in spicy eggplant and minced pork also felt like it was not spicy enough.

Eight Treasure Tofu in Claypot

I am an absolute sucker for combination braised bean curd hot pot and was sad and alarmed not see it on the menu. The closest I could find was “braised tofu in hotpot”, however upon asking the staff we were dismayed to find that this particular dish was tofu only. Taking a gamble on the Eight Treasure Tofu in Claypot was a great decision. I didn’t know if it would be what I wanted to be, as eight treasure soup is just eight different beans, but it was. And it was good.

It is important to mention that our meal was rudely interrupted by a lobster cage match which broke out in the left lobster tank. I think that when you are a Chinese restaurant your threshold for putting more aquatic animals into a tank is that as long as there’s water on 3/4 of the animal’s surfaces then it’s plenty of room and more can be put in there. While I’m not the world’s strongest advocate for the welfare of delicious crustaceans I do think that overcrowding may have been involved in the 7-way free-for-all that transpired during our meal. We were also witness to a vertical fish in a socially distanced tank far away from the lobsters.

Overall The Good Kitchen wasn’t what I was looking for, but it ended up being what I needed. A protip for new players is that eight treasures is literally combination. I would rate The Good Kitchen four angry lobsters out of five.

The Good Kitchen
171 Forest Rd, Hurstville NSW 2220
(02) 9579 1688