171 Hindley Street, Adelaide
April 1, 2016
West end of Hindley Street is abuzz with new cafes, bars and restaurants seemingly popping up just about every other weekend. With such a significant revamp of the strip, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with a growing list of ‘places to try’’. However, tucked back amongst it all is one little venue serving a pho-nomenal* Vietnamese menu that should definitely be raising the alarms on your foodie radar.
From the moment we arrived at Phonatic, my companion and I were made to feel welcome and at home by the friendly staff. Happily, they addressed any questions we had about the comprehensive menu and were more than willing to suggest some of their own favourite dishes. It took us a little while to decide what to order because IT ALL LOOKED SO PHO-KING GOOD and I kinda wanted to order it all…
After much deliberation, we decided to start with traditional Vietnamese cold rolls and satay chicken skewers. Both were fresh and tasty – definitely a good sign for the rest of the meal yet to come.
For mains we settled on the rare tender beef in lime juice salad and two of the Phonatic non-pho specialities; the Phonatic Wagyu Beef Noodle soup and the Phonatic Curry served with bread. With just the right amount of kick, these mains definitely packed a punch on the flavour front. Or in simpler words – they were really yum! The portion sizes were also generous which made them easily shareable and value for money, both desirable attributes in my books.
But even more than just delicious food, Phonatic restaurant takes you on a mini cultural adventure. Every aspect of the venue has been lovingly curated and put together by the owner and his family. From the rich timber beams, stools and benches paired with the rustic wrought iron touches on the doorframes and upcycled industrial lighting fixtures to the exposed red brickwork, it’s the type of warehouse-chic interior that you would expect to see in hip ‘n’ happening Melbourne.
As you walk from the main part of the restaurant to the bathrooms or the rear al fresco bar, the main brick wall is decorated with large painted murals. Upon discussion with our waiter, we discovered that these attractive murals actually tell the story of the owner’s family as they migrated from Vietnam to Australia when he was a child.
Simple, tasteful and personal touches throughout the entire venue hint at the love of this Australian-Vietnamese fusion of cultures. A love that is strikingly evident through completely mouth-watering food and great service! This is one west end restaurant that is definitely un-pho-gettable! You should go check it out, pho sure.
*we make no apologies for this or any other pun in this story
Phonatic Vietnamese Restaurant
(08) 8410 8868
Day – Monday to Saturday: 11 AM to 3PM
Night – Sunday to Thursday: 5PM to 10PM and Friday to Sat: 5PM to 11PM