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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pho Pasteur, Parramatta

 Once upon a time Pho Pasteur (137 Church Street, Parramatta) was the place to go for some decent Vietnamese cuisine in Parramatta. My last memory of the restaurant was of high quality, flavoursome food without needing to dig deep into the bank, but having not been there for two years, a lot has changed since then. Located opposite Parramatta train station and along the bus interchange strip, Pho Pasteur is hard to miss, but in hindsight it probably would have been wiser to miss it altogether. Afterwards, we realised that going to the original Pho Pasteur around the corner would probably have been the smarter choice, but I've also had friends telling me otherwise.


 We grab our orders with the help of the picture menu and it looks really promising.
Picture Menu

Nuoc Mam, Beansprouts, Mint, Lemon & Chilli

 This is the large Pho Bo Special ($12.50) with all the usual suspects including; rare beef, beef balls, tendons and tripe. The broth is infused with meats and spices and I must admit, it smelt appetising with the steam hitting our faces. It's deceiving looks also covered the fact that there wasn't much in it either.  So much so, that there was a look of despair on Patty's face when she dug and dug attempting to find more noodles, but to no avail.

 With a few sprigs of mint and a quick squeeze of lemon juice, it was time to test the broth. It was pretty salty from the excessive MSG added and it just didn't feel heart warming. Every other component was average but for a 'large' serving size, the noodles must have slipped its way over the edge of the bowl as the waitress brought them out because we couldn't find any!

Pho Bo Special
Rare Beef, Beef Balls, Tendons, Tripe

  Scanning through the menu, it was hard to believe that they didn't serve 'com tam bi suon cha', unless I'm really that blind. The components being;
                                                Com Tam - broken rice
                                                Bi - shredded pork, roasted rice powder and garlic
                                                Suon Nuong - pork chop 
                                                Cha - steamed pork and egg custard
                                                Trung - sunny-side up fried egg
 Anyhow, I settled for the much less travelled Suon Nuong with Com Tam ($13.00) which just includes the broken rice with pork and for $13 it is anything but cheap. I opted for the fried pork rather than the usual grilled method and when it arrived at the table my smile turned upside down. Beside the take away box moulded tomato rice were 4 measly pieces of pork, were they serious? I began digging into my 'snack' with both the rice and pork being excessively dry and then came the strange bit. Maybe the waiter felt bad or saw the expression on my face as I received the meal, but he came to the table with an extra dish of 4 more pork strips. It didn't really help the cause though, because it was still unfortunately the same disappointing quality.
Suon Nuong
Veggies, Tomato Rice, (fried) Pork
 I guess it's hard to judge a restaurant on only a couple of dishes, but for Vietnamese cuisine, these two dishes are well sought after and are among the most popular everywhere you go. Possibly it was a bad day, or week, or month, but regardless Patty and I won't be back in the near future. To make things worse, they also forgot my order of lemon soda which I had to chase up afterwards as well. With Parramatta literally littered with eateries, I recommend grabbing a bite elsewhere unless you feel like being disappointed with below mediocre food.
Bunny Rating-
Category: Dining

Pho Pasteur on Urbanspoon

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