05 August 2013

La Mint Restaurant: Vietnamese Pho Pot, Darlinghurst (26 July 2013)

62-64 Riley Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

Hot out of the pot

My original plan was to dine anonymously to try the Pho Pot Starter ($9.50) but once the owner Leanne Lai recognised me she was keen for me to try the other add on dishes of Raw Angus Scotch fillet ($7.50 add on), Beef Balls ($5 add on) and Beef Tripe ($5 add on) which were all provided complimentary including the Pho Pot Starter I wanted to pay for. It's an interesting concept to have a Pho Pot which does have its pro and cons. Usually when I want a bowl of pho I'm just used to it coming to the table all ready to eat. With the Pho Pot all the ingredients came ready to put into the hot pot filled with a light tasting broth although you do have to cook it yourself and then transfer it back to your smaller bowl for eating. I guess you could eat straight out of the pot but it's a bit awkwardly high to do so. A positive is the broth will always be hot as it's kept heated by a flammable blue gel underneath. 

I think the Pho Pot Starter on its own is quite nice although I would have personally loved a few more noodles and slices of meat. The experience and flavour of having the raw Angus scotch fillet is more appealing though because you get to control the amount of cooking of each piece to your liking and it also flavours the broth better. Adding the home-made sate-hoi sin dipping sauce, chilli and thinly sliced onion into the broth will intensify the flavour too. By the end you end up with a very nice tasting broth that's not too oily. Having the add ons does make the a bowl of pho a lot more expensive but they're large enough to share if you dine with one or two others to make it more reasonably priced.

PROS: Friendly service, Nice decor and setting, The Pho Pot always remains hot, Quite fun for a small group if you have the time for a leisurely lunch
CONS: You need to cook the pho pot yourself which might not suit those just wanting a quick eat and dash lunch or if you simply don't feel like cooking it yourself, Add ons can make for an expensive bowl of pho if dining alone
MUST TRY: Cooking the raw Angus scotch fillet to your liking
VERDICT: The Pho Pot Starter seems reasonably priced but once you start adding on the extras it can end up being quite a pricey bowl of pho compared to others around town so it's best to share the add on dishes to make it more reasonably priced.
Pho Pot Starter served with finely sliced cooked Angus beef and noodles with home-made sate-hoi sin dipping sauce, bean sprouts, spring onion, basil, onion, coriander, chilli peppers and lemon ($9.50) — would have loved a bit more noodles and sliced beef to make it a more filling pho lunch.

Raw Angus Scotch fillet ($7.50 add on)

Beef Balls ($5 add on)

Beef Tripe ($5 add on)

Cook your raw scotch fillet to your liking

Broth gets better the more things you cook in it
A different type of rice noodle to try
Special flammable blue gel
Make sure you ask for a proper soup spoon
Pho Pot menu
Owner Leanne Lai and Head Chef George

Nice decor

Very awkward spot for urinal when exiting the cubicle

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La Mint on Urbanspoon


Milktea Eats said...

nifty idea but probs wouldnt return after trying. imo.

retrodaze said...

Seems like a lot of effort for a bowl of pho! I think I prefer a regular bowl that has been freshly prepared in the kitchen.

Little Owlie said...

I've tried other food on their menu and it was quite nice (especially the campfire beef)! They didn't have the Pho Pot when I was there though :/

Jarhead said...

I've always wanted to check out this place because I walk past there often. Interesting concept serving pho in a hot pot form! It'd be hard to beat the pho at Pasteur or Gia Hoi though...

Sir and Mlady said...

Actually like the idea of doing pho this way. Youget to mix and match to suit your tastes - as you mentioned.

Mr C @ The Food Diary said...

Can you believe I haven't had Pho in over 8 months!? Pho Pot looks like an interesting concept!

Unknown said...

i love DIY novelty ideas but seems like quite a bit of effort just for pho! Might give it a go one time if i am looking for something different to do! i am impressed that they have scotch filet on the menu!

Simon Leong said...

hi amy, i think it would suit a leisurely work lunch with friends so you share a few things

hi retrodaze, you are right. i'm just used to having a bowl of pho served ready to eat although it does have it's advantage of cooking your raw beef one bit at a time while if you're just served a bowl of pho it will all cook at the same time and thus overcook by the time you get to the last piece.

hi little owlie, i'm craving to try their campfire beef now. the pho pot is a new menu thing for them.

hi jarhead, i do like the pho at pasteur although it's always so cramped for space their and their service isn't particularly friendly and the place always looks dirty and run down.

hi sir and mlady, hope you get to try it with a few friends to share the sides

hi mr c, might be time to try some pho again. the colder weather tends to suit pho better for me.

hi shanshan, let me know how you go if you try it.

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