Phamily Kitchen serves the homely, familiar food that owner Michael Pham would go home to, such as bún [rice noodles] with spiced-herb barbecue chicken, fresh lettuce, cucumber and pickles; Vietnamese slaw with battered soft-shell crab; and caramel pork neck with braised egg and rice. It’s old-school Vietnamese in a new school setting – all the classics you’d get on the street and family dishes Pham grew up with.
Classics they may be, but head chef Alex Kaewprapran has used her Thai background to innovate the traditional favourites. Vietnamese-fiends will recognise the classics, including barbecue pork banh mi, beef pho and syrupy ca-phe coffee. There’s also tricked-out versions of the old faithfuls, such as the brisket banh mi, or the tofu, shitake and enoki pho.
The slick fit-out by Matthew Van Kooy of John Wardle Architects has the entire base of the restaurant bathed in blue – the walls, the floor, the tables and chairs – while the ceiling fades into a shade of pink Pham calls “Iced VoVo”.
Not bad for a place that used to be what Pham describes as a, “Creepy bain-marie bar”.