Hidden away just off the bustling Oxford Street of Darlinghurst lies a small courtyard surrounded by restaurants. It’s a nice quiet neighbourhood that is private enough to escape the city rush but close enough to return once you’ve had your food fix.
One of them is the Vietnamese restaurant Phamish; it features both indoor and outdoor seating and its menu is featured at the wall behind the counter, similar to fast food restaurants. It’s a bit impractical since the menu isn’t really visible from the seating given the small font so you have to walk right up to the counter. The prices are at the premium end for Asian food but is expected given the Darlinghurst location.
Duck and Prawn Pancakes – $7 each (min 2 per order)
After perusing the extensive menu we finally decide on some food for our party of 3. First up is the duck and prawn pancakes, wrapped in rice paper and served with sweet chilli sauce. These are very big – they are around 2x the size of a sushi roll as it is a bit longer and much thicker. There is a lot of succulent duck meat inside and this is the overriding flavour; the prawn is not that apparent. It gets oily to hold after a while given the duck fat so watch out if you use your hands to eat.
Prawns wrapped with crispy noodles -$15
Next up is one of the specials of the day, prawns wrapped with crispy noodles once again served with sweet chilli sauce. This consists of a king prawn wrapped extensively in noodles before being fried. It’s extremely crunchy and textural and I find it quite heavy to eat as the noodle is quite oily. It definitely needs the sauce though as it can get dry after a while.
Salt & Pepper Squid – $18.50
After this is a dish of squid which is served with a small lemon wedge, and more sweet chilli sauce. The squid is done well and quite tender. Unlike our last two dishes, it’s not too oily and has a light batter. I find that more lemon juice would have helped freshen up the dish more – if only they gave us a bigger lemon!
Asian Greens – $14.50
After a string of oily, unhealthy foods, we decided that some much needed greens would help us stomach all the oil. Our Asian greens consisted of baby bok choy, broccoli, shitake mushrooms, garlic and fresh baby corn all wok tossed together. These were well done and not too crunchy, which is exactly how I like my vegetables. These were covered in a light soy sauce.
If you’re ever feeling famished, perhaps Phamish is the answer to your prayers (I’m so punny). They don’t serve up your traditional Vietnamese pho noodles and vermicelli but instead swing towards a more modern Chinese style inspired by Vietnam. It’s a great place to grab some Asian food in a quiet residential area whilst still remaining in the CBD.
248 Palmer Street Sydney NSW 2010
I’m always disappointed when pretty much everything is served with sweet chilli sauce. It’s like a cheap shortcut and usually indicates that the food is not that great.
looks like a cute little place. those prawn noodles look very cool!
I adore Phamish… have been there many times over the years. I always ask for the rice paper rolls to be served with a peanut or hoisin-type sauce instead and it’s excellent.
Oh you can ask for different sauces? Good thinking!