Monday 24 September 2018

Oh hi! Or maybe O Mai!

I know, I know, things have been very quiet here on the content-front. It's not strictly a planned thing, but I find that although I have lots of time to scroll through other people's content, it's really hard to keep up with my own.

I've been busy, and real life just gets in the way of online life sometimes. Of course, there has still been lots of eating, and baking, and interacting with my small people going on. I just haven't felt the need to blog in detail about it so much.

However, recently (as in, a few months ago now), I dragged Mr Fork and the smalls to a new-to-us pho (pronounced 'fur') place for lunch while we were out and about. We liked it so much, that we took his parents to eat there the next day and they were impressed. I may not have mentioned it before, but Mr Fork's parents are Vietnamese, so for them to give this place a tick of approval means it's pretty darn tasty. So I thought I needed to tell everyone about it, because good pho deserves to be shared!
O Mai!
Cafe O Mai and Pho Queue (love those pun names) are located side by side and are owned by the same family. We like them both and they serve pretty much the same pho - O Mai is a little bit rustic and casual and opens earlier so you can indulge in pho for breakfast if you choose (it's delicious!). Pho Queue is a bit fancier, opens from lunch through to dinner time, has a glorious open dessert kitchen to sticky beak into and produces some wonderful French desserts. Mr Fork has a preference for Pho Queue because they offer normal washable chopsticks instead of wooden disposable ones, and he prefers to eat with those so we probably frequent Pho Queue slightly more because of that. They also offer baby pho at reasonable prices, which are smaller sized bowls specially for the kids, so my children love that they can order their own bowl and not be overwhelmed by adult sizes.

Another feature that I love is that both stores practice sustainability where possible. Straws are reusable metal ones and in an effort to reduce wastage, bean sprouts, basil, chilli and fresh lemon are all available (free) pho additions, but won't be served unless they are asked for. I'm all for being eco friendly and reducing single use plastic so I'm fully supportive of this practice but you better believe I'm piling those additions into my pho! Now if only O-Mai would get rid of the disposable chopsticks...

I should also mention that both stores serve a delicious Bahn Mi, the Vietnamese crusty bread roll. There is a dedicated bahn mi station where they bake the baguettes onsite between the two restaurants and it's always busy. I get the lemongrass tofu option (minus the mayo and pate), but Mr Fork raves about the traditional pork one. I have no pictures of those because they get devoured far too quickly but take my word that they're amazing.
Pho Queue branded bowl
From my perspective, I'm impressed because they also have a completely vegan pho option made on a super tasty mushroom broth. You can choose to have it with tofu and vegetables (regular), or with a medley of gourmet mushrooms and crispy soy pieces (deluxe).
Regular vegan pho
I'm hard pressed to choose my favourite but maybe I'm leaning ever so slightly to the deluxe mushroom medley because a) I love oyster and enoki mushrooms and b) the crispy soy tastes amazing after absorbing the broth and it gets that wonderful texture where the inside is soggy and delicious but the outside is crackly and perfect.
Deluxe vegan pho
If you're ever in the area, I 'pho sure' recommend stopping in for a delicious bowl of pho, vegan or not.
Pho Queue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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