I don't often land in Bankstown, in fact this was my first visit, so when a friend had a 40th birthday party nearby I wanted to make sure that I managed to sneak a food blog post in. That's me, obsessed with my blog. I'm the one who measures a place by its blog worthy status and cannot go anywhere twice much to my husband's annoyance. We had intended to visit The Taste of Egypt on Greenfield Parade as we had never tried Egyptian food before but as we arrived at 10.30pm on a Saturday night, all of the Egyptian goodies were gone. We exited and found ourselves faced with the bright lights of My Canh, a large Vietnamese restaurant which was thankfully still open and serving.
Before we knew it we were seated and examining the huge and varied menu for goodies with over 220 items to choose from. Warm tea arrives in a cute little metal teapot and two small plastic tumblers. I see items such as Chicken's Feet salad and Beef Fondue (I ask about this later and it's not cheese but vinegar) but I wanted to try Special Beef Ph? ($9) as the evening has a slight chill to it and I know my husband likes noodle soups. I peruse the menu for another less soupy offering and am a little stumped due to the myriad of options. My eyes rest on the Bun with spring rolls and BBQ Pork ($10), something through culinary kismet was featured on an episode of Food Safari just a few days ago. We order this and as for something to drink, the Avocado shake is just begging to be ordered by me and my husband sees the Durian shake and orders this ($4 each). Our waiter is friendly and efficient.
We're not waiting long at all, within a couple of minutes, the bean sprouts and basil arrive along with plum and chili sauces for the Ph? and the Vietnamese dipping sauce arrives for the Bun. In the Food Safari episode they explained that a girl's marriage worthy status was based on her ability to make this dipping sauce and a prospective mother in law would be served this so she could inspect how well her potential daughter in law could make it. If the seeds and chili float, then it's good. If not, well I guess you end up in dating Siberia. My Canh's sauce of course floats.
Avocado and Durian Shake $4 each
Our Shakes arrive and the avocado is a lovely light sweet and frosty shake. It's also incredibly rich yet still manages to be refreshing so a little goes a long way. I dislike Durian but for the sake of trying it, I sample my husband's Durian shake. Yes, it's that smell again. I quickly pass this back to him. I'm convinced my husband only orders Durian due to its reputation and like boys tend to do, he likes to order the most hideous sounding thing and live to tell the tale. He was seduced by the folklore and legend of the Durian being banned from the streets and my description of gagging and running away when my mother first opened one up in our home. He admits that he doesn't like it and admits it may have been the idea of a stinky fruit that made him order it.
Our Bun and Ph? arrives. I try the Bun first - it has nothing to do with an actual bread bun, its a noodle dish with the opaque thin vermicelli noodles underneath a tumble of salad, mint leaves, spring rolls and BBQ pork. I spoon the dipping sauce over the noodles and it's perfect. I love the crunch of the vegetables and mint and the very fresh crispy spring rolls cut in thirds. The BBQ pork is delicious too and oops I may have found that I ate a bit more than my alloted half.
Special Beef Ph? $9
I then try the Ph? and the broth is richly flavoured yet light and sustaining. I add some bean sprouts which still remain crunchy and some lemon to give it flavour and its delicious. The fatty beef pieces I dip in the chili sauce which is very spicy especially given the presence of freshly chopped chilis. There is also tripe and meatballs as well as another thinly sliced leaner beef. For me however, adding the basil is overkill and I find it overpowers the Ph? broth. My husband likes the basil in it but I pick out the leaves.
As much as I don't want to move out of my safe, and what some may say is boring North Shore enclave, I do wish we had a late night haunt like this.
My Canh Vietnamese restaurant
29-31 Greenfield Parade Bankstown
Tel: +61 (02) 9796-7586
Open 7 days
Surcharge for Credit card/add 50c per takeaway container