Sunday, 6 May 2012

Meridian Hotel Bistro - Hurstville - Sydney,Australia

Meridian Hotel Bistro
Everytime I set my foot or should I say drive my car into the Hurstville area, the Meridian Hotel is a place I would normally go by without a blink of an eye. It's bland looking exterior filled with pub drinkers on one side and the bistro next door makes it rather unappealing. That was until I noticed the pho broth smell from miles away literally. 

It is located on the end of Forest Rd which is the main eating street for a plethora of different foods. The Meridian Hotel Bistro serves asian and western cuisine. At lunch, the place is brimming with locals looking for a cheap feed. The 'Pho  or Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup' costs a measly $7.00. Not only that, there are many dishes available for under 10 dollars.

The inside is spacious and there is plenty of seating available. The service is prompt and efficient. You order and pay at the counter, grab a number and find a seat. A short while later your food arrives at your table. In between that, you grab your own utensils and sauces from the main counter. 


Mum and Dad have the 'Beef Pho ($7.00)'. They are both very hard diners to please as they both have very stringent specifications on how food should be cooked and served. When I initially told them that I wanted to try this place out, they were hesitant but that changed after this. The broth had a fragrant smell and it was steaming hot. The beef and noodles were abundant in that bowl. They loved it! 

I had the 'Beef Ball Pho ($7.00)' which was basically the same but without the beef and with beef balls instead. I struggled to finish it as the portion size was just way too big. I'm use to large portion sizes but this was more like 1.5 the amount. 


Sweet and Sour Pork with Rice
Combination with Rice
Beef with Rice Noodles (Wet)
For those looking for a cheap, cheerful and loud dining experience that serves excellent cuisine, I definitely recommend this place.
220 Forest Rd
Hurstville NSW

Phone no: 02 9580 2220
Opening Hours
7 Days a Week
10am - 9:30pm

Dong Ba- Bankstown - Sydney, Australia

Dong Ba

Known as the second Vietnamese shopping/eating destination in Sydney behind Cabramatta, Bankstown is a good place to go to if you want to avoid the nasty weekend parking in Cabramatta. I frequently visit Bankstown on the weekend as it's only a 20 minute drive from the south when I'm craving for Pho or Bun Bo Hue.
Dong Ba is a Vietnamese Restaurant located in Bankstown with three other stores in Cabramatta. It's cheerful, full of locals and that's a sign it is pretty good. They're well known for their 'Bun Bo Hue' which is a spicy beef noodle soup. They also have many other dishes that are available but may not be the best but standard tasting.

Beef bones and beef shank are simmered with lemongrass for many hours with shrimp paste then added later on to form Bun Bo Hue. For those that haven't tried it, it has an acquired taste with unusual ingredients but it is a dish I definitely recommend for those who haven't tried.

The prices have increased since the last time I was here. Last year, the Bun Bo Hue was $7 dollars but it has now increased to $9 dollars which is still pretty decent considering the large portion. 

The 'Bun Bo Hue Spicy ($9.00)' comes out steaming hot with vermicelli noodles, thinly sliced beef shank, pork cake, two slices of pig knuckle and one chunk of congealed pigs blood topped with onions and spring onions. A vibrant side of vegetables including bean sprouts, cabbage, mint and lemon wedge arrive at the table and can be added according to your liking. Refreshing and tasty. Great dish for the colder days.

The 'Com Dam Dac Biet ($10.00)' which is also know as special broken rice with pork chops and shredded pork comes with a egg cooked sunny side up. The pork on this occasion is marinated in lemongrass and then fried. This is eaten with the fish sauce. A side soup is also included. D finds this very standard and not that great compared to the one's he has tried in Cabramatta.

A good place to go to if you're in the area for authentic Vietnamese food.
2/296 Chapel Road South
Bankstown NSW
Phone no: 02 9708 0327
8am till Late

Dong Ba on Urbanspoon