I said I would return to Cabramatta to eat pho and I finally did! Today my friends took me around the Cabramatta area to eat…and thankfully we got to eat pho unlike the last time when I ate everything but pho. They’re a bit torn about where to go as all 6 of them are locals and have their own personal preferences. In the end we decided to visit Pho Phung which is located on the main strip of restaurants, only a short walk from the train station.
Special Beef Noodle Soup (large) – $12
Today everyone orders the exact same thing – special beef noodle soup, with the only variations being the size of the bowls. They have a small, medium and large option available and at $12 for a large, it’s quite a bargain! Not long after ordering, a hot bowl of noodle soup containing sliced beef, tripe, beef balls and tendons is served, garnished with some onions and shallots. To eat this properly, my friends advise me to squeeze some lemon juice and add some bean sprouts (which are given as a side dish), along with some oyster sauce and chilli for extra flavour. I choose to squeeze my oyster sauce directly into the soup but some of my friends squeeze it into a side dish. The bowl of noodles is delicious – the soup is well flavoured, the noodles are soft and the oyster sauce makes a huge difference to the taste. There’s a good variety of meats in there as well which give it some interesting textures. I personally prefer the beef balls and tripe but am not that big a fan of tendon. As I’m not Vietnamese nor a Cabramatta local, I can’t taste the difference between this pho and others. Personally, pho tastes the same at all restaurants, which is always just delicious. If you’re like me, you’ll have no problem finding pho at Cabramatta as most of the restaurants in the area are Vietnamese.
We decided to stay local for dinner, allowing me to try yet another meal in the area on the same day. Instead of eating the usual Asian fare, we opted for some Italian food at Avoca Woodfire Pizza Cafe which is located in the middle of suburbia. Avoca is homey and cosy which is perfect for the cold night. We are promptly seated and the waitress is very accommodating, even changing the channel on the TV to Masterchef for us to watch!
Fettuccine Boscaiola – $17
We start off with a fettuccine which is cooked with bacon, mushrooms and shallots in a garlic cream sauce. It is nicely creamy and the bacon bits are quite large which is good. It’s a pretty standard dish and is of average quality.
Spaghetti Marinara – $20
Next up is the spaghetti marinara. This is served with king prawns, calamari, baby octopus and mussels in a napolitana sauce. It has a good tomato base and the pasta is well cooked. It’s quite generous in the variety of seafood we receive as well.
Tandoori Chicken Pizza – $19
It’s time for us to start on the pizzas! The first one we have is the tandoori which consists of chicken, onions, snow peas and cheese on a wood fired pizza. This one has lots of tandoori flavour and is absolutely delicious. It’s a bit spicy and leaves a tingling sensation on my tongue.
Garlic Prawn Pizza – $20
The garlic prawn pizza comes next which has a small mound of rocket leaves on top. This pizza is very garlicky – not just the prawns but also the bread. It basically tastes like we’re eating a garlic prawn pizza where the base is garlic bread. Delicious!
Meat Lovers Pizza – $19
Our last pizza is the meat lovers. As expected, it is overloaded with meat consisting of mainly beef, pepperoni and ham. I find that there isn’t enough BBQ sauce on this pizza and it is lacking flavour at times. Otherwise, the pizza base is crusty and light.
Overall, Avoca is reasonable for a suburban restaurant and I can imagine is a favourite amongst locals. I’m not sure I’ll make the effort to travel to Canley Heights again for Italian food, but if you ever find yourself in the area, go for the pizza at Avoca rather than their pasta, though both are served up at pretty reasonable prices.
Details of the above restaurants:
117 John Street, Cabramatta NSW 2166
Ph: (02) 9726 7442
Avoca Woodfire Pizza Cafe
44 Harden St, Canley Heights, NSW
Ph: (02) 9729 4144