In Bankstown, New South Wales, every Australian Asian knows Pho An, even though the price is pretty high but people still get line.
More than 24 years in career, Mr. Phan Chi Hiep, the boss of An Pho answered “If you sell pho, you’re only Vietnamese” when he heard our question about his country.
In the morning of Friday of April, Sydney is so quite due to long holiday. However, Vietnam Town is really busy. An Pho Restaurant of Mr. Phan is nearby Bankstown City Plaza, now is Saigon Place was very buy in the early morning. Not only Vietnamese people, the Asian Australian, An Pho Restaurant serves Australian people also.
Busy at the cashier, but Mr. Phan gave a few minutes to talk with us, the interview from Vietnam. Used to live in Saigon when he was a child, he spends much money for buying or taking photos about Vietnam’s country with large pictures with ao dai, non la, etc… Therefore, we were talking about why he chooses to open pho restaurant; he said about 30 years ago, at the first time he was hired in New Zealand. After he moved to Australia, he started selling pho; moreover, he did it due to take care of his family, but he was attracting to this job that he doesn’t even know when.
The boss let us know that in Australia, they have more condition to cook a great pho due to beef bones are cheap; also beef has a high quality. One year, two years, or three years beef has been selected for different purpose so a difference bow of pho has a difference taste.
A small bow of pho in An Restaurant costs 13 Australian dollars, equal 300.000 VND. Each bow is supplied with vegetables and cinnamon disk prices, chili sauce, black sauce; also satay flavor is like eating in Ho Chi Minh City. Biggest difference compared to Vietnam pho here is absolutely no coriander thorn, one of the featured vegetables served with noodles. If observant, you'll find a small table on the wall with the message: additional items 50 cents remarried; append vinegar charge of the Australian dollar. Particularly with coriander thorn additional half price item re, up to 1.5 dollars.
Explanation of the expensive spikes of cilantro, he said, because vegetables are mostly grown by the Vietnamese in Australia, very little output should only serve the customers’ needs. Due to the unique harmony with pho so many people still call coriander thorn even more expensive. Sometimes, the restaurant does not have enough vegetables to sell.
Having a 250-seat food service customers, employees work full time and part-time total of 40 persons, restaurant Pho An is also the work of more than a dozen exchange students from Vietnam. Mr. Hiep said: "People may not believe, Vietnamese students study aboard are rich, but they still work hard as waiter, cleaner, and serve at this restaurant.”
Having breakfast on the morning of April 6th, Mrs. Bich, the Vietnamese Australian lives in Banktown 23 years told us that when she moved into this area, this restaurant is placed. She met many Vietnamese people over here, even famous singers, actors. “Last year, one of a shopping mall of the state has been recognized as characteristic of the Vietnamese district called Saigon Place. I believe that pho has contributed to that name add poetic”, said by Mrs. Bich.
Many websites still remain many of the customers about this noodle shop. In 2000, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper quoted Mr. John Newton, who used An Pho Restaurant “Bankstown has two well-know, former Prime Minister Paul Keating who was born in here, and also Vietnamese pho.”
Leaving this restaurant, but the taste of Vietnamese food is still in the customers’ hearts. Even that Mr. Phan is getting older, he still stick with pho for many years. He said that the restaurant only sells Vietnamese pho could not even serve food needs are diverse, but the distinction with the remaining food in Sydney.
Most restaurants in the area of Asian people living in Australia are selling more dishes, such as, pho, bun bo hue, pasta, rice, bread, etc… to serve the tastes of many. However, Mr. Phan‘s agreement philosophy that selling only pho is enough for this restaurant. Even the owner also said that because he spent all the space for this noddle dish should retain their unique flavor, unforgettable for the guests for decades.