phi yen – northbridge

Diverging from our beloved Tra Vinh, we had a quick lunch at Phi Yen, somewhat of a Northbridge stalwart of vietnamese food. Over the years, Phi Yen’s loyal following has allowed an expansion over three shop spaces. Stepping over the threshold, it seems the pleasant decor and wide open spaces is a drawcard, away from the crowded, noisy and potentially dirty rivals.

I’ll make this one fairly quick, not that the meal was boring but there wasn’t anything to be excited about. Phi Yen is well known for their broken rice dish – consisting of a grilled pork chop, pate, fried egg and pork skin salad served over a heap of broken rice. The day we went, the broken rice dish was very ordinary – the only highlight was the pork chop dredged with a unique spice mix, making it taste sweet, savoury and aromatic.

The spring rolls and vermicelli was okay, though the noodles to garnish ratio was high. Maybe I have high standards from repeatedly eating the exact same dish at To To’s.The vegetables were fresh and the spring rolls average but it was just lacking that char grilled caramelized flavour which really makes or breaks this dish. The dressing tasted like the bottled version mixed with some fish sauce.

My mum’s pho looked good but failed to buck the trend on flavour. Missing the herbal notes and deep taste of carefully cooked pho, the soup was one dimensional in flavour.

The food here is not bad, there’s nothing wrong with it. But I guess with an alternative whose food is so much better a mere 100 metres up the road, it’s an easy choice. That’ll teach me to stray from an old favourite.

Up’s: Relatively nice decor – clean, spacious and modern. A good place for viet food novices – minimal culture shock to be found here.

Down’s: Wish the menu was larger with more drinks. Food is average.

Food: 2.5/5
Value: 3/5
Service: 2.5/5
Atmosphere: 3.5/5

Phi Yen, 205 Brisbane St (Cnr Lake St), Northbridge WA 6003
T: (08) 9227 1032

Opening Hours:
Lunch and Dinner 7 days


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