Eastwood has a rather high turnover of restaurants with the good ones staying around for many years and the bad ones changing every couple of months. In the last week, three new restaurants have opened including Pho Gia Hoi which is now the second Vietnamese restaurant to enter Eastwood’s dining scene. I had been craving Pho ever since my trip to Cabramatta when I missed out on eating it, so I couldn’t wait to eat here!
Pho Gia Hoi has three existing stores – one at Bankstown, Canley Heights and one at Haymarket near Chinatown. I’ve been to their Haymarket one before and was quite content with the value for money I got. Tonight is no different – they have a 20% off opening special which helps us keep to our budget spending. It draws in a large crowd though which means we have to wait 20 minutes for our table and by the time I sit down I am ravenous!
Fresh Rice Paper Rolls with Pork, Prawns (4) – $10
The menu has 149 items to choose from which is a lot bigger than the city branch. There are a great range of Vietnamese dishes along with classic Chinese ones as well. To kickstart the night, we order some rice paper rolls which come out 2 minutes later – impressive! Unfortunately they’re quite tasteless without the peanut dipping sauce provided. The fillings do nothing for the rice paper roll and I feel like I’m munching on completely bland boiled rice noodles.
Crocodile in Lemongrass and chilli sauce – $20
Our next dish is the crocodile and although it isn’t traditionally an Asian meat, it catches our eye. It has a strong lemongrass taste, packing a punch of flavour in my mouth but isn’t spicy at all. I find that the onions in this dish could have been cooked a bit longer but otherwise it was a delicious dish.
Special Pork & Beef with Rice Vermicelli Soup (Hot & Spicy) – $13
Next is our noodle bowl which is served in a huge bowl. The noodles and meat are well flavoured and there is a lot of coriander. I find that this dish isn’t spicy at all though and unexpectedly tastes a lot like Tom Yum soup.
Grilled Pork Chop with Rice
One of the final dishes we ordered was pork chop with tomato rice. The pork chop is nice and tender but doesn’t taste like pork chop. Instead it tastes exactly like beef jerky, quite deceptive to the mind. The rice presented is close to a fluro orange colour. We discover that it has no tomato taste at all and is full of egg yolk taste instead. This dish is rather confusing all together, but adequate.
Beef Rice Noodle Soup – $11
After eating all this, we feel like we still have room for another dish so we get the classic Pho! This dish is hot and flavoursome and is served with a side of bean sprouts, lemon wedge and mint leaves. I like eating mine with hoisin sauce as it adds an extra layer of flavour. This dish is classic Vietnamese at its best!
Overall I am quite happy with Pho Gia Hoi. They do some dishes well and some not that well, but there is definitely potential here. Glad to know that there is finally a choice in Vietnamese cuisine for Eastwood and with 149 menu items, I know I’ll be back to try some other dishes.
Pho Gia Hoi
219 Rowe Street
Eastwood, NSW 2122
Ph: (02) 8084 2588