Phu Quoc | Vietnamese restaurant review

It’s kind of a joke around Sydney that unless you either live or work in Cabramatta, you don’t go to Cabramatta.

You see, Cabramatta has a gang problem. You don’t hear too much about it in the news these days but the undercurrent is still there. When we arrive at 7pm the main street of town is deserted and all the shops are locked tight with steel roller-doors. What’s is there is really really really good authentic Vietnamese food.


Back in January The Jacksons and The Williams (aka Neen, her hubby, Jay & I) had our first Dinner Club of 2012. We changed our rules this year (after two fun and disputably successful years of Dinner Club); making it about street-type food or cheap eats instead of the latest trendy restaurant.

January’s pick was mine; I opted to take us out to Cabramatta for some authentic Vietnamese at Phu Quoc.

Phu Quoc


If you google “best Vietnamese in Sydney” Phu Quoc is at the top of the list. Apparently the lunch crowd goes off with office workers but at night it’s mostly the locals that dine in.

Strings of paper lanterns hang from the roof, the tables are plastic with vases of silk flowers and the chairs are metal & vinyl, there is aircon and self-service drinks from the fridge. There is also a tabletop medley of condiments that include sauces of chilli, soy, oyster and fish sauce, a canister of chopsticks, forks & spoons and a box of tissues for serviettes.

We look at the menu, all in Vietnamese with some English explanations; there are almost 6 full pages and it’s very cheap. We get a bit carried away with the ordering (breaking one of our other rules for the year which is to stop ordering too much food!).

We order everything to share (except Jay’s Pho soup).

Goi Vit - Vietnamese duck salad
Goi Vit VIA I Heart Cabramatta

The Duck Salad (Goi Vit) is served with rice paper sheets (Banh trang) nuoc cham dipping sauce; you make your own!

Banh trang rice paper sheets and nuoc cham dipping sauce VIA Grab Your Fork

We’ve got so many rice paper rolls that we fill them with Chao Tom which is prawn meat cooked on a stick of sugar cane.

Chao tom - sugar cane prawn

Jay’s Pho soup comes out in a steamy cloud of heady aromas; lemongrass, chilli, mint & meat. He spends the next 15 minutes quietly slurping away.

Beef Pho soup
Pho condiments; bean sprouts & mint

Jay & Neen order (well, I actually order it but don’t like it so Neen takes it off my hands!) this Green & White drink which is quite strange. It’s got grass jelly, red beans, tapioca balls & rice noodles. It’s like a coconut/bean/jelly dessert but you drink it. It’s definitely an acquired-taste for me, but they like it!

Green & White drink

Ian orders the manliest of menu items; Flaming Campfire Beef which literally comes out on fire! You blow the flames out before eating it of course!

Flaming Campfire Beef

I’m not sure when this was ordered, but some Crispy Quail Wings arrive at the table. The boys chow down. Neen & I steer clear. They are cute little baby quails after all…

Crispy Quail Wings

And then there’s the Bo Luc Lac which is Vietnamese Shaking Beef that comes served with this thick mushroomy sauce & onions served on lettuce and fresh tomatoes.

Bo Luc Lac - Vietnamese Shaking Beef

We eat as much as possible (we’re sure the cooks are laughing at how much food we ordered) and shamefully leave the rest on the plates.


If you like Vietnamese food, Phu Quoc is amazing. Fresh, tasty, quick, cheap. Amazing. Just don’t order too much!!!  (FYI all of that food plus soft drinks was $80 total)

Phu Quoc | Cnr John & Hill Sts, Cabramatta NSW

Published by thisismelly

Mel @thisismelly lives a life of adventure, gets lost in farmer’s markets, regularly indulges in movies, loves to whip up gourmet meals in the kitchen, swears that one day she will learn to speak French properly, adores candles and fresh flowers, married her high school sweetheart, visited 19 countries and counting, fears an apocalyptic rage-virus, regularly spoils her cavoodle Harley, loves walking along the harbour, is decorated with ink, muddles her right & left, seasonally switches between blonde and brunette, has soul-mates, favours painted nails & dangly earrings, always orders the 'plateau de fromages', is obsessed with British or Scandinavian crime fiction, detests creepy-crawlies & people who take too long to order coffee, gives terrible directions, makes up crazy dances for her devilishly handsome husband, believes in good, would always be dressed in Saint Laurent, Gucci & Chloe if she could, adores Tex-Mex & Japanese, loves the smell of rain & evening jasmine, may be addicted to Instagram&Pinterest, is always on the hunt for a really good macchiato, is James Taylor’s biggest fan, gets rowdy with tequila, dreams every night, takes pickles, jalapeños & dried fruit for movie snacks, would hate a world without French champagne, adores Pantone 1765, almost always wishes she was lying on the sand in the sun, is an inconsistent Paleo convert and although she is a hopeless Francophile she will forever be smitten with Sydney.

3 thoughts on “Phu Quoc | Vietnamese restaurant review

  1. This is random but before I forget, will you be around this weekend? We will be near the Opera House pretty much all morning. Come there to see me.

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