I end up seeing the new Katherine Heigl movie Life as we know it. It is pretty funny and Katherine Heigl has great hair as always, but the movie just has too many baby poop scenes to make me think having a baby could ever be a good thing.
After the movie, when the baby poop jokes are but a distant memory, I decide to check out Pho Pasteur at Westfield Parramatta. The Boy and I went for dinner at its sister restaurant on Church Street a few weeks ago so I am keen to check out the differences between the two.
I’ve been living in Parramatta for a few months now and I’ve skirted around the outside of the Westfield but not really gone inside other than to see a movie. The place is just too huge. I think shopping centres like this are what an alien abduction would be like…bright lights, lots of weird looking people everywhere and you get plonked back on the sidewalk four hours later blinking into the bright sunlight and wondering where the time has gone.
So, I am VERY relived to find that Pho Pasteur is located on a strip of outside restaurants on Argyle Street, underneath the movie theatre complex.
This Pho Pasteur is much newer than the Church Street restaurant and everything is shinny, new and trendy. It doesn't really have that laminate-table-ambience or budget food feel of many other Vietnamese restaurants I've been to. But if the food is good, I don't really mind.
When I arrive the ultra modern looking restaurant is full to the brim with office workers having a quick bite to eat, so I grab a table outside and watch the world go by.
All of the Westfield restaurants on Argyle Street are smack back in the middle of the Parramatta Bus Exchange so it’s not exactly peaceful, or scenic, outdoor dinning. That said I do enjoy watching people running for their buses as it is usually me missing the bus by just a few seconds. I do however feel as though I am “being watched” as I eat by everyone waiting at the bus stop (I guess I feel that because I AM being watched). A very weird feeling.
The waiter promptly provides me with a jug of tea that holds more fluid than a single person should ever drink in one sitting.
I’m also given two menus. One contains pictures of everything on offer; and another with just text. This menu system is slightly less confusing than the restaurant on Church Street, which has a text menu, a picture menu of some items and other pictures on the wall. I still find it odd that they don’t combine all of the pictures and text into one menu. I find myself cross referencing everything in order to decide on what I should have for lunch.
I decide to order a Bun Vermicelli which is something that I’ve had many times before and that I love.
The text menu helpfully tells me that Bun Vermicelli is a ‘refreshing noodle salad of angel hair rice noodles, cucumber, mung beans, sprouts and fresh herbs; topped with roasted peanuts, pickles and nuoc man sauce’.
Unlike Pho Pasteur on Church Street, the Westfield restaurant assumes that its diners don’t necessary know what the meals are. I really like, and appreciate the explanations that the text menu gives me on each meal.
Whilst I do know what Bun Vermicelli is I really enjoy reading what all of the other options are, and am sure novices to Vietnamese cuisine would find it helpful too.
I’ve ordered a Bun Dac Biet ($12.00) today, which is a Bun Vermicelli with topped with a plump sugar cane prawn, seafood spring roll and grilled pork.
My bowl is filled to the brim with tasty goodies. The prawn, pork and spring roll sit nestled beside the salad goodies and everything sits atop a huge mound of noddles. Drool.
I pour the nuoc mam sauce on top, chop the sugar cane prawn, seafood spring roll and grilled pork into pieces and mix everything together.
This meal tastes so fresh and healthy, and as I breathe in the bus fumes from the passing buses I know that I’ve chosen myself a tasty and healthy lunch!
Pho Pasteur is at Store 2185A, Level 2 (which is street level), Westfield Parramatta.