Pho Hoang Gia, Homebush, Sydney West

Guest blogger edition

One of the many Vietnamese restaurants in Homebush, Pho Hoang is slightly more hidden away than the rest. Located in the side street adjoining the carpark which is just off the main shopping strip is Pho Hoang. Step inside and it has your typical Vietnamese layout with the self serve cutlery, sauces and napkins on each table. We sat down and were promptly provided with our complimentary pot of tea.

We had a quick perusal of the menu but really already knew what we wanted :P

Rare beef and chicken pho - $12.50 - It never ceases to amaze me how much deliciousness you can get in a bowl of noodle soup at a Vietnamese restaurant for such a decent price. Wonderfully fresh slices of rare beef slowly cooking in the steaming hot broth, accompanied by a tender slices of chicken breast adding that bit of variety in taste and texture. Loaded up with a pile of bean sprouts, a dabble of chili oil, and you have the one of the best meals for winter you can get for this price.

Bun Bo Hue - $12 - The classic spicy noodle dish. With a thicker, rounder noodle and a super spicy broth teeming with chunks of random goodies (beef, pigs blood, onions, shallots etc) this dish truly packs a punch. Another very tasty winter warmer. Sometimes this isn't on the menu, but they can usually whip it up for you if you ask!

Crispy skin chicken - $6.50 - Last but not least is the fried chicken. I dare anyone to resist ordering these golden morsels of succulent chicken.

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Ikea dinner, Tempe, Sydney

Guest blogger edition

Ikea - home of the endless maze of home furnishings. Normally I think people come to the Ikea food hall for the cheap and decent breakfast ($3.50 gets you a pretty good feed), however on this occasion we decided to check out their Swedish dinner meals.

The food hall itself is massive and has plenty of seats and is kinda set out like a school cafeteria. This is perfect if you have kids and I see many people bring their kids to eat here. You grab your tray and line up and tell the Ikea dinner ladies what you want and then head over to the check out to pay for it all.

Remember to sign up for a Ikea membership (which I believe is free) as sometimes you get a free drink with your meal. On this occasion we got the free refillable coffee/ tea, although you can also get a refillable post mix soft drink as well.

Roast beef - $12.99 - These thin slices of roast beef came drowning in a pool of delicious thick gravy. There is decent number of slices here too and with the side of confit potatoes, and although it may not look it, this is definitely enough for a dinner meal. The only drawback to this dish is that there is a fair bit of oil from the potatoes which you see in my photo below. 

Vegie balls - $12 - Ikea is famous for their Swedish meatballs, but having already ordered one meaty dish in the form of the roast beef, we opted to get something a tad lighter and healthier. And so we got the vegie balls which are kind of like your bubble and squeak vegie mix products. It comes with a bolognaise type sauce but even with this it was still relatively dry. Prefer the roast beef and Swedish meatballs over this dish.

Overall a quick and decent feed. Remember to clear your table afterwards as there is a conveyor belt to put your finished trays.

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