Pho Toan Thang, 11 Oct 2009

It was a warm day and both Monsieur Poisson and I had a craving for pho. Unfortunately for us, we have yet to discover where to find authentic-tasting pho in our area, so we trek to Flemington where it seems almost every place bar the supermarket and bakery near the train station sells pho.

Naturally, Monsieur Poisson and I end up at our tried and familiar Pho Toan Thang. There is a queue of people stretching out the doorway (which clears by the time I take the above photo) but the wait is not long for us two who don’t mind sharing the long communal table in the middle.

Monsieur Poisson orders an iced coffee which is made with condensed milk. It is cooling and sweet with an intense coffee flavour hit. I stick with the more soothing flavours of the pot of tea provided at the table.

Monsieur Poisson orders his favourite ‘Combination Pho’ (pho dac biet) which has flat rice noodles, cooked beef slices, tripe and beef balls in a beef soup. It is herby and rich in flavour, although not as rich as some other places as I hear our shared table diners proclaim. I, for some reason, am feeling rather greedy and suggest that we order deep-fried spring rolls (cha gio) to share as well as a ‘Combination pork with tomato rice’ (com tam suon bi cha).

The spring rolls are crispy and well-drained but are not accompanied by as many lettuce leaves as usual to wrap up the crunchy rolls with their mung bean vermicelli and pork mince filling. I repeatedly dip (It’s okay to double-dip when only in the company of your partner, no?) into the accompanying fish sauce that has been spiked with rounds of small red chillies – the perfect dressing to cut through fat and oppressive hot weather.

By the time I’ve finished a couple of the spring rolls is when I realise that, yes, I have in fact been rather greedy with ordering as the ‘Combination pork with tomato rice’ is piled rather high on a round plate. But we are happy because the pork chop is thick and juicy; the steamed egg-loaf studded with pork, wood ear fungus and mung bean vermicelli is firm and yellow (at some places it can be grey and crumbly); and the rice is tomato-ey without being soggy. However my favourite part of this dish has to be the finely shredded pork rind with its powdery flavourings and springy texture.

It is no surprise that we cannot finish our dishes but the staff happily provide takeaway containers for us to bundle up our leftover rice and pork to take home. Service is swift, the food uplifting and, most importantly, we have satisfied our need for a pho fix.

Pho Toan Thang
Shop 9, 90-95 The Crescent, Flemington NSW
Tel: (02) 9764 3687

Opening Hours:  7 days  9am-8pm

happy eating!


  1. you were in my neighbourhood!!!!!!!!!

  2. Totally acceptable to double dip with your partner! With other people it's a case by case basis :)

  3. that's quite a few spring rolls in a serve, shame they didn't give you the lettuce to go with it. but wow, what a feast!

  4. Wow what a huge serve, that's probably part of the reason why Mr NQN loves Vietnamese food and Pho so much! hehe and yes I'm sure it's fine to double dip then :P

  5. Nothing is worse than having a craving and not satisfying it - glad you were able to go to this place - and yes - acceptable to double dip - if you are close.. husband, boyfriend yes... boss NO!

  6. I'm a notorious double dipper - only with boyfriend and family though!

  7. I agree with the others - absolutely fine to double dip when it's only your partner sharing! I haven't eaten pho in a while, reading your post is making me crave it!

  8. Hi Trisha! Guess what? I was there again just last Sunday! =p

    Hi Conor, I think I only double dip with my husband but I am definitely in the habit of sharing food communally =D

    Hi panda! There's six in a serve but they're not too large. It's our fault we got greedy with that AND the pho AND the rice!

    Hey Lorraine, the serves were on the large side but the rice was positively huge! And the husband doesn't complain about my double-dipping so I'm sure it's ok =p

    Hey Trissa, yes, nothing worse than craving something, eating something else, feeling full but not satisfied. And I assure you that I only double-dip in very close company!

    Hi missklicious! Haha, only with the husband for me - I keep my secret very well concealed =p

    Hi Agnes! Sydney keeps having these sprouts of hot, hot weather which is when I most feel like pho, sushi or salads.

  9. this is a regular eating place for us as it is close to home......u should try the grilled pork balls and vermicelli, it's my favourite and yummylicious :)

  10. Hey Mistress! I've only tried the pork vermicelli here, so I'll try and remember to order the grilled pork meatball variety next time.

  11. Just stumbled on your blog - it's great! Haven't been to Flemington for food before I always bypass everything else and head straight to the markets. I'll have to stop and try the local eateries next time.

  12. Hi Forager! Welcome, and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment =)

    Flemington's great for Vietnamese food, but avoid getting pork rolls from the bakery near the station - I've been told it has had a bit of 'trouble' with those in the past.


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