Pho Pasteur, Blacktown

pho pasteur by A Sydney Foodie
pho pasteur, a photo by A Sydney Foodie on Flickr.

Pho Pasteur in Chinatown, Sydney is well known. It is where local Vietnamese go to eat in order to feel at home because what is on the menu is, and the decor is plastic, the food is cheap and the staff are rude and abrupt.

Personally, I prefer Gia Hoi which is next door. There seems to be a lot more variety, it appears cleaner and the staff are friendlier.

The local paper indicated that Pho Pasteur had opened up a branch in Blacktown near the cinemas, within the shopping complex. It’s funny, because they moved into a shop recently vacated by another Vietnamese restaurant who had moved onto street level.

There was a text menu and a photographic menu; good in theory, but when the photos are the size of a 20c piece, it doesn’t help much. The prices were higher than in town, and higher than expected for suburbia.

We ordered beef noodle soup (pho), hot and spicy beef and pork soup, and steamed gai lan (Chinese broccoli) with oyster sauce.

There appeared to be a few teething troubles. One table ordered spring rolls. None of the waiting staff had explained to them that you use your lettuce leaf as your ‘plate’, and wrap it around the spring roll to eat. They had felt confused by the lack of personal plates, and so were using their teacups as tiny bowls. Another table had trouble attracting the attention of the waiting staff. Instead of the kitchen saying: “This dish is for table 6.”, the servers were wandering around until they found a docket which had a similiar item on it, and plonking it down. That’s how our broccoli ended up in the table next to us, and they didn’t know any better, so they ate it. This is a shame for the restaurant because that represents lost income.

Our noodle soup arrives. Traditionally, hot and spicy noodle soup arrives with a giant plate of shredded cabbage and purple banana leaf, or purple cabbage if banana is not in season. Not this time. I have no cabbage, lettuce or mint. I have to scavenge my greens from the bean sprouts and mint intended for the beef pho.

The broth of both soups is good, but there is a severe lacking of noodles. We had ordered the regular size, since that normally satisfies. It appears that because they offer both extra noodles ($1) and a large bowl size, the hank that went into our bowls was 1/3 the normal size. There were not many noodles that I could hunt down to eat.

We left the restaurant feeling strangely unsatisfied. The manager behind the till tut-tutted when we told her about the missing vegetables and went to check with the kitchen and waitstaff. Hopefully the difficulties we had we our meal are just initial teething troubles.

Pho Pasteur

Shop 4001A

Westpoint Shopping Centre “on four”

Level 4, Patrick Street Blacktown

open daily “till late”

(02) 9622 1621

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