Friday, 14 June 2013

Just pho fun

Tucked away in the upper levels of Hunter Connection in the CBD is a 'little known' food court.  You wouldn't know it was there unless you had happened to stumble upon it or someone told you about it. However, you wouldn't believe that statement when you see how crowded it gets at lunch time. It' seems half of the CBD knows about this little 'secret'!

It's predominately Asian flavour stalls however there is a couple of other fast food/takeaway shops. There are Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Sushi and Thai stalls and there is an Organic cafe, kebab place and a Subway and it's super dooper cheap!

For food court food it's pretty good.  I'm sure there is lots of MSG making its way into the dishes, but when you can get dishes for around $6.50 with rice it's a great budget lunch.  There is always a massive turn around at lunchtime because of the crowds and dishes don't sit around for hours and hours in bain maries. Yes, this food court has been criticised in the past for unhygienic practices (at a couple of the stalls) but it certainly hasn't hurt business. 

If you are dining with a friend(s) grab a seat before you order if you can because by 12.10pm there will be little to no seating and pouncing on tables or sharing tables with someone else is a must!

I have craving bowls of pho lately.  It's my go to soup.  Comforting and carb-y on cold winters days.  I have eaten pho at both Hong Hai and Pho Han oi in this food court a couple times (I have incidentally also introduced a friend to the pho culture at both of these places (he just happens to be a ramen head but now enjoys pho too)...I'm pleased to convert someone!

So for research purposes only (okay aways) I have recently eaten at both to decide which is better. 

Hong Hai
Beef Pho
Piping hot broth, fresh noodles, smattering of coriander and shallots.  The beef got a little overcooked in the broth and was a bit overcooked and I didn't get the baggie of lime, herbage and bean sprouts (not sure if this was an oversight because I asked for takeaway) and didn't realise until it was to late.
Pho Ha Noi
Beef Pho
Clear strong broth, full of flavour, coriander and shallots, lots of rare beef slices and a baggie full of pho toppings, lemon wedge, fresh basil and crispy bean sprouts. 
Is is evident by just reading each review which one is the winner.  Pho Ha Noi, you will be pho ever my fav at this food court!
The slurping continues on my hunt around Sydney for great pho!


  1. I have a love/hate relationship with Pho.I recently had a bowl as I was feeling "unwell" and I thought it would be like Vietnamese penicillin. Wrong! I've heart that Hunter Connection is amazing - my friend loves the Japanese place there.

    1. If you get a below par/average bowl of pho it can put you just gotta know where to get good pho from....I actually had lunch at the japanese place today (another post at some point soon)....keep at it! If I can convert a ramen head who was adverse to pho.....

  2. We love a good food court. Wish we worked closer to the city so we could get through these. Such a shame Sushi Nagashima closed. Like your taste test, and a few hits on the name and shame list just makes the food better!