Pho An Restaurant Bankstown
- Date Visited: 28th of July, 2017
- Order: Pho topped with a beef combination
- Final bill: $16.50 AUD
An restaurant is definitely larger than most restaurants serving pho in the Sydney metropolitan. It is spacious and everything is kept clean and tidy. As you walk in, you are blasted with the pho scent which fills the entire atmosphere.
You can find An restaurant situated at the T-intersection on Greenfield Parade, Bankstown, very close to the Vietnamese community shops.
The restaurant is nicely decorated with artwork and potted plants hung up along the walls, highlighted by series of spot lights and clear white light coming from the ceiling. The restaurant resonates with large chatter and sound from bowls and utensils clattering, along with the consistent sound of moving chairs as customers enter and leave their table.
The footage above was captured at 2 pm on a Friday, which is really late after the peak lunch period, and yet, the restaurant is still busy as usual.
Usually, if you come on the weekend, expect to be in a queue for at least 10-15 minutes before finding yourself at a table. Even with their current layout and spacious restaurant, they still manage to run out of tables!
An restaurant really prides themselves in their service and spirit of their staff members. One thing which always impresses me at An restaurant is their level of staff upkeep, always seem to have a full roster, you can always find yourself a waiter close by ready to assist. As soon as you are seated, someone is instantly ready to take your order and if you are not ready, they are happy to come back. Once the order is made, within minutes the pho is brought out to you hot and steaming ready to go!
Another point which An restaurant stands out from the rest of their competitors is their generous offering of herbs and veggies. As you can see from the image below, the basil’s are vibrant and you can find a very few numbers of leaves that are bruised, same as the bean sprouts and lemon.
As mentioned above, everything is presented fresh and vibrant when it comes to An restaurant. The ingredients in the pho itself are plated nicely which shows the layers of depth of both flavours and colours highlighted by the chopped greens spread on top of the pho.
From the plates used for the herbs to the pho bowl or condiments, everything is set in a white coloured theme which allows the food to be the main focus and not distract the customer from the main point of the dish.
If you speak to most people in the Vietnamese community, you will quickly learn that An restaurant’s pho is one of the best in Sydney, and who would blame them! Even without adding any condiments to the broth, as you take your first sip, you can tell that the broth was simmering for many hours to build such a complex and full-bodied flavour. Filled with the sweetness of bone marrow and the aromatic scent of the star anise and cinnamon that gives the distinctive quality of Vietnamese pho.
Of course, over the years An restaurant has refined their broth, it has become much clearer in both taste and smell but yet without being overpowering which gives you a sense of comfort and warmth when facing with the generous bowl of pho.
Not only is the broth in An restaurant special, their rice noodle itself is different from the others. It is smooth, silky and extremely soft which can be eaten by anyone from young to old without any hassle. Once you take the strand of noodle in your mouth, you just need to press the tongue against your top palate to feel the rice noodle just breaks apart and dissolve in your mouth. The rice noodle strands are in the right amount of thickness and width that is enough to keep the broth attached but yet does not become soggy and maintain its flexibility as you eat.
The beef cuts are tender and extremely juicy. The beef balls, tendons, tripe and rare beef all have their own distinct texture but yet when eaten together with the broth and pho, it harmoniously works together to offer a feeling of completeness in the overall flavour.
Out of the many visits I have had with An restaurant, I was extremely pleased with my most recent experience as the level of MSG (monosodium glutamate) has been reduced, which is always a good thing as the flavours are naturally contained from fresh ingredients without much intervention from condiments such as MSG. This keeps the broth light and naturally balanced giving a healthier taste.
A restaurant has always been part of my family’s go-to place for either breakfast or lunch. Over the years, the price has jumped quite a bit, from $9.50 AUD when it was at the old shop next door, to now at $16.50 for a large bowl. Considering the geographical location of An restaurant, I would say that it is a bit on the higher end of the scale, however, if you look at the amount of meat and noodles offered in the large bowl along with its unique taste and popularity within the community, $16.50 almost sounds like a reasonable price.
So with all that into consideration, the value is there unless there is a better competitor out there to take the title!
Overall, I am extremely satisfied with An restaurant and their pho. You can always rely on An Restaurant to consistently deliver the same quality of pho with a generous size to satisfy your pho needs. Great place for a family Sunday breakfast or lunch, or even take your friends out for a nice catch up on the weekend. Authentic Vietnamese dish in the heart of a Vietnamese community in Sydney.
As mentioned earlier, my family have been to An restaurant for over a decade and still the place to go for amazing pho.