Best pho in Sydney: Melissa Leong names Bankstown’s An Restaurant No.1

My experience of growing up in Sydney in the 1980s and ’90s with food-obsessed parents probably has something to do with my continued obsession with being introduced to a new venue, cuisine or eating destination. I still get a thrill out of it as a slightly bigger kid.

Being born and bred in the Shire was not without its charms, but cultural diversity wasn’t one of them. To that end, we spent each weekend exploring the suburbs of Sydney and the communities that gave them life.

From Norton Street and surrounds for Italian providores, eateries, and my first taste of chinotto, Italy’s answer to cola (which I still love), to Parramatta for proper Nyonya food, I loved it all.

Every Saturday morning, I went to swimming squad training in Bankstown, while my parents shopped for the week’s Asian grocery haul. A vibrant mash-up of Chinese, Vietnamese and Lebanese communities created such a vibe, and it was my reward, post chlorination, to smash a well-earned curry puff and freshly pressed cane sugar juice – the former a flaky, layered mess of golden crunch, encasing pillowy potato, peas, curried seasoning, and mince.

An Restaurant was one of my first tastes of properly good Vietnamese cuisine, from broken tomato rice topped with a juicy leg of fried chicken and nuoc mam dipping sauce, or a steaming bowl of beef pho, all silky rice noodles and rose-hued beef that cooked in its searing broth with a depth of flavor I continue to be obsessed with.

Decades later, though, they have bid farewell to co-founder Hiep Chi Phan, just late last year. A Restaurant continues to crank out delicious, aromatic, and nourishing bowls of broth and more to an appreciative audience of diners from near and far. Testament to the enduring power of good food, tenacity, and community.

This article originally appeared on Escape and do not necessarily represent the views of

About the author


Hi! I’m Ozzie!

Before joining Australia Exploring, I was a writer at Tripadvisor.

I'm looking for the best posts for you about travel adventures in Australia and around the world. This website has the purpose to inspire you to travel… travel more and better. I hope it can help you explore the world a little bit better.

I graduated from the University of Sydney. I live in California with my wife and two children.


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