U & I Cafe, Northbridge

U & I Cafe

Pho bo vien – sliced raw beef and beef balls

I guess I should start this post by stating: I am by no means a pho connoisseur. But I know what I like, and if the empty bowl on my table at U & I Cafe on Sunday morning is anything to go by, then I guess it was pretty good!

Did I mention we ate this pho at 7.30am on a Sunday? Though this pho neophyte may not be the best judge of authenticity, one thing I will say is, it’s exciting to see a 24-hour restaurant in Perth (that doesn’t have golden arches).

More exciting still, when you can enjoy your morning coffee, Vietnamese style, drip filtered with a generous slug of super-sweet creamy condensed milk. You can have it over ice (which is listed on the menu), or hot – as we attempted to ask for. Luckily our patient waitress was totally on board with my inability to describe what I wanted that early in the morning!

U & I Cafe

Pho tai – with sliced raw beef

My pho tai was fragrant with a light, beefy broth. I would have really loved a stronger spicier kick from the usual suspects – start anise, cinnamon, coriander and fennel seed – though it definitely packed a black pepper punch.

The onions in the soup were just al dente, which was a great textural contrast with the soft slippery rice noodles. The beef was perfectly tender, and cut to a good thickness – with a bit of bite, but not so thick it was hard to chew.

Lashings of Sriracha and oyster sauce with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon were essential here, as the soup didn’t seem to be overly seasoned.

U & I Cafe

I’ve been reliably informed by my friend G that other dishes on the menu here, like the Bo Kho which comes served with a crusty baguette, are worth trying out. I’m keen to see what they’re like, maybe at dinner so I can sample other items not on their “overnight” (10.00pm – 10.00am) menu!

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