An, Bankstown, Saturday lunch John Newton visits a giant among Vietnamese soup restaurants.

Bankstown is famous for two things: former prime minister Paul Keating (born there) and the best pho this side of Saigon. …And he confirms for me my suspicion that there is more to this bowl of noodles than meets the eye and belly.

"Soup is a large part of Vietnamese culinary culture," he says, "especially pho. For a Vietnamese not to have a bowl of pho once a week, something is terribly wrong. It is a folk food."
This is more than a meal, it's a roots-renewal ritual. Having learnt to pho at An, I can relate to that. 29/31 Greenfield Parade, Bankstown, 9796 7826. Daily 7am-9pm.
(Sydney Morning Herald 02/12)



20 Bargain Bites

Eating well is not all truffles and caviar. It's more about making every mouthful count, whether you're feeding the kids, spending-up at a fine diner or walking home after a night on the sauce. There is value to be had in our fair city ... you just have to know where to look. An Restaurant, 27 Greenfield Parade, Bankstown. Ph: 9796 7826. Regarded by some as the best Vietnamese beef noodle soup in the city (others think it's the best in the country), An's pho comes in 15 flavours (five chicken, 10 beef), and - regardless of whether the superb broth is garnished with slices of steak (pho tai), or chicken heart, intestines, giblets, blood jelly and eggs (pho ga dac biet) - there's a full and satisfying meal in every bowl.
(Sydney Morning Herald 27/08)




"So pho, so good": an appropriate motto for the soup kings of Sydney. Pho (pronounced "fuh"), for the uninitiated, is the beef noodle soup of the gods, made by plonking some flat white rice noodles in a bowl and topping them with slices of raw beef, spring onion and coriander. Hot, aromatic beef broth is then poured in, cooking the meat and covering the noodles. The battery of condiments and optional extras like basil, bean sprouts and lemon varies from shop to shop.

One thing is constant: everyone says Pho An is where it's at. The decor is wipe 'n' wear, but the soup is unforgettable. Most pho fans shun the chook, sticking to the eight variations of beef, from the relatively innocuous tai (rare beef) and chin (sliced tendons) to the full blown organ-fest of the pho dac biet.
(Pat Nourse, Sunday Life, August 2002)

Out of ten

Atmosphere 6/10
Functional. We're talking noodles. When the noodles go, so do you.
Service 7/10
Almost more waiters than eaters: slick, fast and impersonal.
Food 9/10
If there's better pho in Sydney, take me there.
Value 9/10
(Sydney Morning Herald 02/12)

An Restaurant invites all Sydney food writers to come and experience the pho that has had numerous leading critics singing its praises. When you add An Restaurant's low prices and efficient, friendly service into the mix the result is a happy customer and a glowing review for the restaurant.

Why is An the best?

Sure, all the ingredients are of better quanlity than the usual pro shop fare. But it's more subtle than that - It's the quanlity woven into the spicing. It's cleaner and more intense, that little bit clovier and the ginger has been roasted just so - the very picture of a dish constantly imitated but never bested.


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