It’s our first visit to Canley Heights, and we’ve got our nose to the ground, following a food trail. This adventure started with a recommendation from Tracey, a Vietnamese waitress at the Bayview Gladesville. The trail leads us an unassuming shopfront, with a bright LED sign assuring us we’d found the right place.
Tracey recommended Pho Lam for their bun bo hue – a spicy noodle soup with beef, pork, pork trotters and blood jelly – but on the day we’re swayed by two signature dishes immortalised on menu cards in their window, endorsed by the Fairfield City Council. The first is a Seafood Combination Laksa ($13), which is rich, creamy and nicely spicy, filled with shredded chicken, prawns, calamari and broccoli.
What we like even better however is the Bánh Canh Cua Chao Tôm ($12), a crab soup that hides wonderfully fat, chewy tapioca noodles. The noodles give the broth a syrupy thickness, while your palate is kept interested with floating pieces of sugarcane prawn and fried bread stick, a scattering of fresh herbs and crisp, fried shallots.
You can dress either soup with bean sprouts, lime, or aromatic chrysanthemum greens (tan ô) for added bitterness, provided on a separate plate.
Prices this keen of course come with modest furnishings, but you will find an entrée of Roast Quail ($12) to be generously proportioned. Pho Lam’s Vietnamese Iced Coffee ($4) is also a winner.
210 Canley Vale Road, Canley Heights
Ph: (02) 9723 6626