Tuesday, 8 May 2012


My best food scout was doing his usual patrols and noticed that a Vietnamese restaurant had opened in Garema Place so we had to check it out.

Pork and prawn rice paper rolls: $5

The dish photographed way better than it tasted. Each roll was fairly large but consisted mostly of chopped lettuce and I could not taste any fragrant Vietnamese herbs. About halfway into the roll, I noticed a discoloured piece of lettuce...oh wait, nope. It was a sliver of sliced pork that was stuck onto the lettuce. The pork was sliced so thinly (and only one slice in the roll) that I couldn't even taste the pork. It would have been preferable to have a much smaller roll with better pork/prawn to lettuce ratio.

Rare beef noodle soup: $11.50

First things first, I've had much better pho than this. It's the broth that makes it for me and this one was underwhelming in flavour and overwhelming in the amount of oil layered on top of the soup. For some reason, the soup wasn't particularly hot either. I like my hot soups to be hot, especially when I've made the effort to brave the chilly Canberra weather.

On the bright side, there was a decent amount of beef and I enjoyed the crunch of the freshly sliced onion. I also have to give credit for the variety of sauces available on each table (hoisin, chilli sauce, fish sauce). I did also like that the pho was accompanied by the usual plate of bean sprouts, chilli and very fragrant basil.

This place may still be settling in as it has only been open a week or so but given the central location and the lack of Vietnamese places on offer in the Civic area, there may not be much incentive to lift the quality of the food.

Food Avenue Rating: 5.5/10

IPho on Urbanspoon


  1. Yumm! I love Vietnamese food; the rolls look really good!

  2. Heya - I was planning to go today and your review spurred me to try it as well. Avoided the rice paper rolls but had the plain beef pho and some sort of crispy chicken/tomato rice thing? While the pho wasn't amazing (I have had it in Vietnam but that was over four years ago), when I had it it came out hot and quite enjoyable. You could taste the star anise. My companion remarked that the crispy chicken 'tasted like the roast chicken from Supabarn' but we both liked it - pretty juicy with a good dipping sauce. The rice was a little dried out.

    Anyway - just wanted to say it's so nice to see a food blog that is Canberra-based! Following you.

  3. Rinny - the rolls look waaay better than they tasted, trust me!

    Anonymous - thanks for the support :) Good to hear the beef pho was better for you. I'd be keen to try the crispy chicken/tomato rice dish as it sounds amazing but I'm a bit put off that the rice was dried out! Anyway, let me know if there are other places you would like reviews on. I may have already tried it but just haven't written a review for it yet!