Phu Huong is a newer establishment in Parafield Gardens from the original owners of the popular Cha Phu Xuong on Hanson Road. It has a wide variety of classic Vietnamese dishes including cold rolls, ready-made meals such as noodle salads with grilled chicken, spicy beef noodle soups, steamed pork buns, Vietnamese style pork sausages, traditional desserts and of course Vietnamese rolls, also known as ‘banh mi’.
There is nothing flashy about the décor and it is what you would expect from a little suburban eatery, although it is a lot brighter and cleaner in comparison to similar Vietnamese fast food eateries in the Western suburbs. There is very limited seating as there are only two tables inside which will seat 6 people. There are a few out door benches available within the complex. Essentially this place is more of a take-away eatery rather than a dine-in one.
The bread itself exhibits hallmarks of an authentic traditional Vietnamese style baguette. It was crusty and at each bite I took out of the roll showered my lap with the bits of the crispy outside – a true test of a good Vietnamese roll. The inside was soft, fluffy and airy as it should be. In the roll’s foundation there was a generous spread of the egg mayonnaise which is creamy due to the high egg content but that’s what makes it so delicious, rich and smooth. There was also plenty of the flavorsome chicken liver paté spread in the roll.
The pork crackling was crispy and crunchy with a good ratio of meat and fat which gave the roll plenty of flavour. The traditional Vietnamese style cold cut meats of pork also added extra protein and further contributed to the complexity of flavours. I really liked how generous they were with the fresh vegetables, in particular the pickled julienned carrots, daikon (white radish), and lengthway-sliced cucumbers, all of which added an extra crunch to the roll. The fresh coriander complimented the roll’s freshness and the fresh sliced chilli added plenty of heat. The sauce that was drizzled along the inside of the roll topped it all off and was house made; the combination of fish and soy sauce, sugar, garlic and vinegar in that condiment perfectly combined all the elements together.
This place represents good value for money as the rolls are around $5 with all the other dishes around the $10 mark. The place does get a bit noisy, particularly during lunchtimes, but is ideal for a quick and cheap lunch on the go. The staff were very prompt and friendly and were generous with the fillings. I honestly would position Phu Huong as one of my top go-to places for a delicious, value for money traditional Vietnamese rolls.
Words and Photos by Linh Nguyen
WHERE: Shop 8, 24-38 Catalina Ave, Parafield Gardens