Sydney, Australia is one of those places everyone wants to visit. Sydney is famous for all sorts of things: The Sydney Opera House, Bondi Beach, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. But I went down under for a more noble cause; I was in search of great pho.
After arriving at the Park Hyatt Sydney, my friend and I went off to explore the city. After a night of being distracted by the revelry of the infamous area known as Kings Crossing, divine intervention stepped in, reminding me why I was in Australia in the first place.
This sign was a sign that I needed to focus on the mission at hand. I was not in Australia to party, to surf, or to play tourist. I was there for broth, noodles, rare beef, little tiny onions, and fresh cilantro.
Yet the next morning I woke up and immediately forgot about the pho mission, opting for yet another day at the beach.
That evening, my friend and I proceeded to go out again, only this time I was refused entry into the bar because I did not have my ID. Annoyed, I headed back down George Street towards my hotel questioning if tourists should really have to carry identification while on holiday (I thought only the US has such a draconian policy). Before I could contemplate an answer, destiny intervened in the form of three letters: P-H-O.
Knowing my friend was waiting for me with no cell phone, I did the only thing any prudent pho master would do: I crossed the street, entered the restaurant, and said, “Table for one please.”
The aroma of fresh broth overtook me as I fell back in love with pho for the very first time. My stomach was empty, my bowl was full, and my thoughts incoherent. The last thing I can remember before blacking out from flavor is adding the scientifically perfect amount of sriracha and hoisin.
Unrepenting, I stared out my balcony off into the horizon, congratulating myself:
Good on ya, mate, job well done.