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What The Pho

Cuisine: Vietnamese
Location: Northbridge

I have a more recent food review of What The Pho here.

A pretty catchy name and a play on a certain phrase which I will not spell out – this is a clean blog after all! This Vietnamese restaurant was one of many participating in the Eat Drink Perth 2011 festival running during March where various specials or deals were offered. What The Pho’s contribution was a challenge run every Wednesday to finish a bowl of pho within 20 minutes with the winners receiving a $50 voucher, a photo on their website and a cap. My friend, who I’ve seen wolf down food, decided to have a go some Wednesdays ago and I would back him to complete the challenge, and he did. Talking to one of the staff on my first visit today, we were informed about 150 people had entered and my friend was one of only 10 to have completed the challenge.

With the $50 voucher in hand, my friend and I caught up for dinner on a Wednesday night which progressively got packed out through the night. While looking at the desserts… I mean the other offerings on the menu, my friend drew my attention to a bowl of pho that was going past to another patron who was attempting the pho challenge on the last Wednesday of March. Whoa! The bowl was huge and could probably feed a family of 4! Ok, maybe at least 2 if not 3 but how anyone could eat all that in one sitting let alone 20 minutes is beyond me. Pho, as it is comes with piping hot broth which cooks the extremely thin slices of raw meat in amongst a huge amount of noodles and other ingredients. Then there’s the plate of bean sprouts and all which are also tipped in.

Anyway, back to our dinner, we decided on duck pancakes and stuffed chicken wings for entrees which we shared while I went for five spiced chicken for my mains and ice kechang for dessert. The duck pancakes were delcious. I love the pancakes and the hoison sauce that goes with it. I’ve seen stuffed chicken wings before on menus of other restaurants but have never eaten it until now. They were pretty tasty with a generous stuffing which was very nice. Quite different and enjoyable. My mains came with a bowl of mild fried rice which was very good and a decent chunk of a whole chicken which was cut into pieces via the crafty use of the butcher’s cleaver. A little bowl of grey salt came with it which you are supposed to dip your chicken into. A wedge of lemon squeezed over the top added that moisture and extra flavour. The chicken was quite tasty with the salt and crispy skin but a little dry and bland. For dessert, I was keen to try some ice kechang after my experience on my recent holiday in Kuala Lumpur. Out came a generous sized bowl with plenty of shaved ice, red bean, jelly, a few whole peanuts and what seemed like rose syrup. I was surprised at the rose syrup in place of palm sugar syrup. The peanuts were not chopped and there was no sweet corn. All the same, quite good but not as good as the version at Island Bistro in Kuala Lumpur. Quite an enjoyable meal and a good place to catch up.

What The Pho Food Review Summary

Verdict: I love duck pancakes and they didn’t disappoint but I have had slightly better versions. The stuffed chicken wings were different and quite tasty as was the five spiced chicken but it lacked a bit of flavour. The ice kechang was very good too but I have had better. Overall, the food was very enjoyable and for the two of us, $50 seemed reasonable for entree, mains and dessert. I guess their speciality is pho so maybe pho enthusiasts could give a better evaluation of the food served.
Price: Reasonable
Taste: Great
Value: Reasonable
Recommendation: Worth Trying Again

What The Pho Restaurant Details

What the Pho on Urbanspoon

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What The Pho, reviewed by Shaun on 2011-03-30T20:14:51+00:00 rating 3.4 out of 5
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Restaurant Rating System

It's subjective but I base my reviews on 4 key areas:

Price: Bargain > Reasonable > Moderately Expensive > Expensive
Taste: Poor > Average > Great > Delicious
Value: Poor > Good > Reasonable > Excellent
Recommendation: Eat At Home Instead > Try Once If You Want But Not Worth Visiting Again > Worth Visiting > Recommend > Highly Recommend

The final recommendation will consider the price, taste and value. Value will be based on price and other factors like service and serving size.