With most of Adelaide’s Vietnamese community based in the western suburbs, it makes sense that you’d have to venture that way to experience some of their authentic cuisine. Tucked away in a side street in Athol Park is Pho Hong Tam, a Vietnamese eatery that well known for their Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup. At the time of writing, there were 16 combinations to choose from, and were available in 3 different bowl sizes. Of course, if you’re not in the mood for Pho, they have a selection of rice, noodle and vermicelli dishes that will be sure to take your fancy.
Today, I opted for the large Pho Tai Nam which is a Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup with rare beef and brisket. Understanding that it was a public holiday and that the eatery was half full, it did take a good 20 minutes for the meals to arrive. The large serve is a decent size and it comes with all the Asian herbs as you would expect. You even get a side dish of pickled white onions which is something I haven’t had before.
The Pho Tai Nam came to my table piping hot, which is essential for the cooking of the raw beef slices. Both the brisket and rare beef slices were nice and lean, and you could tell the brisket was freshly cooked. The fresh noodles were firm and slippery, and the ratio of meat to noodles was generous proportional. The key to a good Pho is the broth and this one was certainly up there. You could see the small beef globules on the surface of the broth, and its taste was beefy with a tad too much star anise.
A good sign of whether a place is authentic or not is by the number of people of that ethnicity that eat there. At the time we were there, there were many people of Vietnamese origin eating at Pho Hong Tam. It also means everything is fresh because they have to constantly cook fresh batches. The large Pho Tai Nam was $11 which is great value considering the generous serving sizes and quality of the ingredients. If I was going to nit pick, I would point out that their cutlery wasn’t clean, the service was a bit slow and the broth in the Pho wasn’t perfect. Having said that, the experience as a whole was pretty good.
WHERE: 90 Alicia St, Athol Park