Great to see this neighbourhood Vietnamese still going strong. For a good value, fresh fill it’s pretty hard to beat, and this evening, it’s a popular choice with the ladies. It’s a cozy dining arrangement at Phamish, the up side to sitting in close quarters being the ability to eaves drop on your fellow diners when your own conversation topics dry up
This evening I’m not actually eaves dropping on the neighbouring diners, though on either side of me there are two all girl tables and let’s just say, their excitement and animation is kind of difficult to avoid.
Kicking off with the arrival squeals, “Oh my god, so great to see you, you look fabulous” welcome, through to the “Are we all happy to have rice? I’m avoiding meat – is that OK?” menu consultation. It’s high energy and very charming to watch, and I may have even been guilty of this kind of enthusiasm in my past.
As an aside, when did ‘are we having rice?’ become a thing. I’m at an Asian restaurant. I need a little somethin’ to mop up the juices. Don’t make me feel like I’m suggesting a shot of heroin with our duck pancakes.
And so that’s where the meal begins, with an order of Duck & Prawn Pancakes. I don’t always get these because they are a pretty generous serving and my concern is that it’s going to put me out for the rest of the meal. This evening I’m glad that they did as they are a fresh and tasty (though potentially lacking just a little seasoning).
My favourite of the starters are the Beef La Lot – firm, spiced, little beef rolls wrapped in a little served with a dipping sauce. Heaven. When everything else on the menu is up for grabs, this item is always a mandatory.
For main this evening we’ve ordered the Vietnamese Chicken Curry (also available in Prawn or Vegetable version) and the Papaya Salad with Prawns.
For all the year’s of coming to Phamish (including at it’s old Rushcutter’s spot) I’ve never ordered the Vietnamese Curry. In truth I think I had Vietnamese way down on the totem pole of Asian curries with Thai, Malaysian and others really being my first choice. In the interests of branching out, we give it a shot and it’s pretty nice.
The Prawn & Papaya Salad is a good choice based on all the other ordering we’ve done and this fresh and spicy salad is a bit of a favourite. Though generous in serving side and seafood, it probably lacks a little bit of punch compared to versions I’ve had in more traditional venues. Though I’d like an extra kick of chilli, it’s still thoroughly enjoyable.
Phamish is an extremely reliable place to grab a bottle of BYO and get a fresh, fast fill of great Vietnamese food. What it lacks in authenticity (it does feel tailored for the local palette) it makes up for in quality and consistency. Most menu items sell out every night indicating the high turnover and freshness of ingredients, which I believe, is what keeps people coming.
There are a fabulous range of stir frys and dumplings which I’ll update on this post following my next visit, which should hopefully be soon.
248 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst | +61 2 9357 2688