When Miss food hunter first arrived in Brisbane for her undergrad studies, the only place she'd usually head to for Vietnamese food would be West End but all that has changed since being introduced to Inala and Darra. Inala is really the hub for the Vietnamese community and it is of no surprise to see 'that' many viet restaurants and cafes dotted along the periphery of the center.
Ok, we have eaten at practically all the viet restaurants and taken away food from them more than a dozen times now. Just between the both of us, we do not have a single preference and the restaurant we go to depends on the type of dish on mind. So, if we feel like Spicy Beef noodles (Bun Bo Hue) or Crispy Chicken with egg noodles we'd head to Quyen or if it is Pork chop with Broken rice (Com Tam) or Beef Pho we'd head to Que Hong for consistency and good presentation etc.
Apologies for the long-winded intro, back to the subject.... Pho 99 amongst the other viet restaurants in Inala is considered the new kid on the block, opened shy of a few years only, we must say that it is doing very well. We rocked up early one night for dinner and it was booked out! Pho 99 is one of the few restaurants that stay open till around 930pm while the others start to wind down near 8pm.
For lunch yesterday, we ordered a iced lemon tea to share, Crisp Chicken Fried Rice and a Combination Egg Noodle Soup for Miss food hunter. We love the homemade ice lemon tea, refreshingly zingy and sweet. It is different to the Liptons and Nestea!
Personally, i have not had a bad egg noodle soup from any of the viet restaurants. The soup bases are almost identical and the differences lie in their type and quality of toppings. For instance, the prawns at Pho 99 are medium and cooked, the chicken is shredded and there is the addition of wantons and crispy prawn fritter while, Que Hong uses fresh prawns, tender chicken slices and adds beef.
This is the first for Mr food hunter, ordering Crispy Chicken from Pho 99. It was bit of a disappointment as the chicken was a touch overcooked and so it was dry but it was still crispy enough. The fried rice was rather bland and it was just plain with egg. So, it is not the best as compared to other viet joints but overall still enjoyable, bearing in mind we are really getting down to the nitty gritty of things.
The soup bases here tend to be less oily than the other restaurants which is a plus for some. Yes, Pho 99 maybe just another one of your average viet restaurant in Inala but their menu is well-priced (lower in comparison), portions are generous, they have a couple more menu items not served elsewhere and they open till later too! The duck congee is recommended.
Just a kind note. Tan Thanh has changed ownership and we seldom visit this restaurant now as their standards have slipped and are rather inconsistent. Not everyone will agree with us on this we're sure!
Inala Civic Centre