Pho is, for some people, a food group all of its own. On the pyramid I believe it’s located somewhere between the vegetables and dairy. The intricate depth of flavour in the broth, mixed with the textural elements, fresh herbs, noodles, some chilli, served with the (traditionally) raw beef makes for an intoxicating and addictive mix. Its also normally excellent value, so makes for a filling, healthy and warming meal especially as we head into the cooler months.
The only catch being….I had never had it before.
Yes I know. How can I call myself a foodie without having experienced pho (I hear you thinking)?
However, due to a last minute change of plans, rather than visiting the dumpling delights of Mandoo, due to the line out the front and time limited lunch breaks, we ended up heading elsewhere and walking into Pho SA instead.
Given this lack of pho experience, you may have to take my opinion with a pinch of salt, so to speak. However I am extremely familiar with similar things, such as tom yum and derivatives, laksa, and South East Asian food in general. So I appreciate the layering of flavours and textures required to make these things really sing.
To continue the same analogy, Pho SA was hitting all the right notes for me.
We started with the intriguing ‘crab claws’ and fried wontons, as we were really hungry and wanting to satisfy some of our dumpling-esque cravings. These were all well put together and tasty, although I will say the sweet chilli sauce was just a little mainstream (read – straight from a bottle) so more sugar than chilli. Still, far from terrible. Really enjoyed the claws sticking from the ‘crab claws’, as it’s little things like this that make experiences just that bit more memorable.
The pho was the main event though, and it didn’t disappoint. Condiments were supplied to adjust flavours to suit, as well as plenty of super fresh herbs (Vietnamese basil and coriander), bean sprouts and some lemon wedges to make it just so. There was a good amount of sliced beef in there which had been poached nicely in the steaming hot broth. The rice noodles were of good quality too. My only very slight, not criticism but suggestion, would be to have some sliced limes as well. Lemon is all well and good, but a squeeze of fresh lime juice into this would have made it next level.
One final thing, I loved the fresh lemon soda drink. It was just delicious, and I highly recommend all who visit Pho SA have to try this at least once.
Pho SA have a large menu of other things to try, and I would love to come back and do the same at some point soon. Not getting the pho though….thats going to be difficult to overlook!
Excellent food, great flavours and outstanding value. Throw in a really nice restaurant space and some excellent service and this is ticking all the boxes for me.
42 Currie Street, Adelaide, SA
Daily – 11am until 9pm