Thursday, 23 May 2013

Phamish, Darlinghurst

Phamish was recommended to me some time last year, but it was only until about a month ago that I actually ventured there (shortly after my trip to Universal, which was right next door), as I had been discouraged by the location, which seemed inconveniently far from the rest of the CBD. Turns out it's quite accessible by public transport (close to the Oxford St bus stops), and on this occasion, I'd dragged along someone willing to battle the stress of city parking. We got there at 6pm, believing that, as it was a Saturday evening, the lines would be incredibly long, but only a couple of tables were occupied at the time - the lining up commenced around 7pm.

I really should have chosen the seats indoors, but I was stupid and selected the awkward three-legged stools, which seemed designed purely to facilitate a higher turnover of patrons. There were a few waitstaff around, but their job was to serve the dishes rather than place your order (interesting mix of self-serve and table service). We placed our orders at the front counter, and thankfully there was no one waiting behind us, cos we must've stood there for an age trying to figure out what to order (their only 'menu' is the wall behind the counter).

The duck and prawn pancakes were a given, and I threw in a pork dish, a beef dish, rice and lotus tea.

When I first heard about the pancakes, I was all for them - I'd been imagining peking duck pancakes rather than the ricey ones, so I have to say, I was slightly disappointed when they appeared in front of me. I was also wary of the mint leaves and bean sprouts - too much of either makes me wrinkle my nose in distaste. My qualms were alleviated when I actually sunk my teeth into them - the high vegetable content makes it taste fresh and adds to the crispness of the duck skin. The meat was generously packed inside and seasoned nicely.

Duck and prawn pancakes ($14.00)

With the entree out of the way, we proceeded onto the mains.

Rice ($2.00?)

The caramelised pork was nice - there was a lot of fresh vegetables and dill and the pork fell apart easily. It reminded me of one of my mum's braised pork and egg dishes (perhaps there's a Malaysian equivalent). In any case, I'm not the biggest fan of braised dishes, so I probably wouldn't order it again, but that's not to say a lot of other people wouldn't enjoy it.

Caramelised pork with egg ($18-19... I forget)

I really liked the beef dish - the meat was cut up into bite sized pieces and cooked until a light crust formed outside. There was also plenty of sweet sauce, which was useful in flavouring the rice. It came with a dish of seasoning, a daub of which made each biteful even more enjoyable.

Bo luc lac eye fillet ($19.50)

There were no desserts at Phamish, which was a pity - were Universal still open, I would plan an outing involving both these places in order to satisfy my sugar cravings.

Phamish on Urbanspoon

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