There’s a strip of restaurants in Kingsford where you can’t have a bad meal. From UNSW to uptown Maroubra you’ll find some of the best Chinese, Malaysian and Indonesian food Sydney has to offer. One thing it has been missing, though, is Vietnamese. Coming in to plug that gap is Phoodle, a new outpost from St Leonard’s recently rebranded pho and bánh mì stop Buon Cibo (which is now also called Phoodle).
“Now we can do much more than just pho,” says Phoodle co-owner Allan Thai. Although he's the man in charge here, he’s not behind the new menu items. All the recipes and hospitality know-how come from his mum, dad and grandma (who despite being over 70, is still the active owner of three Bau Truong restaurants in Marrickville, Cabramatta and Canley Vale). “My grandma was here [during the opening] being like ‘do this right. If you don't do this you'll get a smack’,” says Thai.
Thai’s touch is the modernisation of both the menu and the decor. Thai has reinterpreted his grandma’s old-school Viet dishes as tapas. “It's an experiment. Something new that we're doing so people can try multiple dishes,” says Thai. Pho comes in smaller bowls; coconut-infused beef comes with vermicelli and tree-ear mushrooms san-choy-bau style on rice crackers. Sticky grilled chicken is served next to crisp mini patties of mung bean and sticky rice.
For breakfast, it’s distinctly Viet street dishes, with bánh mì; goat curry with a slice of baguette; and pan-fried luncheon meat with a fried egg. Have a traditional iced coffee to accompany it, otherwise there’s espresso, filter and cold drip with beans from Melbourne and Marrickville roasters Zest.
The fit-out is inspired by The Grounds says Thai. Phoodle doesn’t quite have the space or resources of that Alexandria behemoth, so the garden, pot plants and farmyard animals have been replaced with custom-made wooden-slat benches, plastic vines and a faux-garden wall.
1/255–271 Anzac Parade, Kingsford
(02) 9313 6792
Mon to Sun 7.30am–10pm