My favourite Vietnamese dish is Pho (Beef Noodle Soup). It’s one of those versatile dishes that can be eaten at anytime of the day. As someone who regularly drives down Grange Road, I saw the sign for Pho Time go up a few months ago and have been waiting in anticipation for it to open.
Keen to see what this place was all about, it did not disappoint. Their “small eats” offerings are fairly straight forward with Spring Rolls, 5 types of Cold Rolls and 6 types of Banh Mi. The mains are headed off by their signature Pho dishes that come in 4 combinations. There are 9 other mains (some of which are available with different proteins) which include many classic homestyle dishes that I would normally have at home.
The establishment is clean, modern and well presented. If you include the outdoor seating, this place can easily cater for over 50 people. The floor to ceiling windows allow plenty of natural light to flow through making this place light and airy.
It wouldn’t be right to come to a place called Pho Time without ordering their Pho, so that’s what I did. The Rare Beef Pho came out 10 minutes after ordering and came with all the trimmings. The Pho only comes in one size and it’s a decent sized bowl.
The key to a good bowl of Pho is the broth. The broth in my Pho was beefy, rich and full of flavour. The top surface was clear with a small presence of fat globules, and I could detect the subtle undertones of star anise and cinnamon. The broth by itself was slightly salty, but when mixed with the perfectly cooked fresh noodles, became just right.
The thinly sliced steak was raw at the time the dish arrived at my table. This allowed me to mix the meat into the boiling broth myself to ensure that the beef remains rare and not overcooked. It’s a personal preference as to the amount of herbs you add, but I like to add a bit of everything so as to not overwhelm the broth.
After the Pho, there was still room for a Roast Pork Banh Mi. The roast pork was well marinated, and there was good proportion of meat to fat. The skin was perfectly crunchy and wasn’t going to crack any teeth. The pickled daikon and radish added a nice crunchy texture, while the coriander was nice and fresh. The fresh chilli added a bit of heat with every bite, and it was a nice way to end the lunch.
The staff were super friendly, and the service was fast and efficient. The atmosphere was relaxed and the pricing was reasonable. Everything on the “small eats” section is around $6 and all the mains are $13.
The chance to finally eat here was well worth the wait. For me, Pho Time ticks all the boxes. I look forward to trying some of their other classic homestyle dishes on my next visit.
WHERE: Shop 3, 119-123 Grange Rd, Allenby Gardens