It was a rather early Sunday morning - the crowds had not arrived as yet. Some shops, cafes and restaurants were already opened for business, including Pho Toan Thang.
PTT is a family run business that has both Vietnamese and Cantonese hues in its food and atmosphere. People were having breakfast here! The grocery across the paved walkway, Tan Hung Long, was awaking from just opened mood, but next door, K.W. Barbeque, already had people lining up. The roast ducks, pork and soy chicken were going fast from the display window - and I saw a fresh batch of marinated chicken feet brought in form the kitchen behind.
The PTT menu can be seen replicated across many such comparable Indo-Chinese themed restaurants across metropolitan areas in Australia today. Many Aussies are familiar with now staple items like pork chops with tomato flavoured rice, beef Pho and hotpots of seafood. I was more curious as to why many people would line up at TT for lunch, afternoon snacks and dinner soon later in the day.
The PTT staff spoke Cantonese, but also was conversant in Mandarin and English. I chose a typical dish to test the waters at PTT. The chicken rice noodles soup I got had a different taste from traditional Pho in Vietnam. It may be just me, but it seemed more southern Chinese in character than Hanoi. PTT provided generous clean cuts of breast meat slices. The mint and bean sprouts were there on a separate plate. The soup however was more clear than expected. The narrow rice noodles served were what I like best in a soup, with its rather appetising texture. A squeeze of lemon, some sauce and the piping hot bowl became better.
The colour of the tomato flavoured rice here is not so orangey. I noticed the pork trotters, crispy chicken, Bahn Mi, and salt fish flavoured fried rice with chicken at other tables. Many of my mates with a Vietnamese family background have told me this restaurant is one on the familiar weekend circuit on countless family routines around Sydney.
Not much time to ponder more about food....there is more grocery shopping to do, and then head to a home party!
Pho Toan Thang Vietnamese Restaurant visited is located at Shop 9, 90-95 The Crescent, Homebush NSW.
Opening hours are from 9am to 8pm daily.
Contact +61 2 9764 3687