Nguyen Brothers

Every culture has one- a dish that makes you feel so good inside, it can’t possibly be wrong. A dish that tastes like it should be good for you, that it should be able to beat anything that ails you into submission. Folk food, family food, street food.

Pho, (pronounced “fuh” for the uninitiated) is one such dish.

It sounds simple enough – flat rice noodles, thinly sliced raw beef, a few herbs and spring onions, with an aromatic boiling broth poured over the lot to cook the meat. Too easy? No…the fact is, all pho is not created equal.

Good pho has hidden depths of flavour, enhanced by the chilli, lemon, basil and whatever you add to it. It’s the noodle soup of the Gods, and just by eating it you’re treating your body as a temple. It’s very different from your average food court of franchise pho – the ones where the broth is thin and watery, the beef clumpy, the texture fatty and shallow. Those ones might trick you into thinking you’ve satisfied the craving, but essentially it’s pho without a soul.

Anyways, it’s this (and Hainanese chicken – but that’s another story) that I crave when I’m feeling like I’m fighting off a head cold…or a hangover…or just because I’m craving it. And, up until now, there’s been nowhere on the Sunshine Coast to indulge that craving.

Nguyen Brothers have another two restaurants – in Marrickville and Alexandria in Sydney – and these guys know their pho. The broth is deep in flavour, yet also light with citrusy top-notes. Before I start sounding like I’m describing wine, I’ll also tell you the best thing – they don’t just do one type of beef pho.

Hue style pho

Also on the menu is five spice pho – a super spicy, dark broth of fabulousness for when you need that extra kick – and Hue style pho, a richer, thicker beef soup that my husband has decided is his personal favourite. And, for something lighter, there’s also a chicken pho.

vermicelli salad with crispy chicken

Don’t worry, if you’re not into slurping noodles, there’s still plenty to keep you happy. There’s crunchy spring rolls to startAlso on the lunch menu is Bun (or vermicelli salads), Goi (salad), Bahn Mi (baguettes), Bahn cuon (steamed rice rolls) – which is next on my list of dishes to try – and Com (rice dishes).

crispy skin chicken and rice

At night the menu expands to include crispy pancakes to start, followed by share dishes such as claypot fish, caramelised pork, lemongrass chicken and…I won’t go on.

Where?

Nguyen Brothers is located in the Kin-Tiki Building at 55 Plaza Parade, Maroochydore.

When?

7 days

Lunch 11am – 3pm

Dinner – from 5.30pm

How much? $

There’s nothing on the lunch menu over $15

Dinner mains start at $16

Vegetarian options?

Yes

Licensed?

No…BYO

More information?

Check out their Facebook page here

 

 

 

 

La Canteena

Bucket of beers. Do three words ever sound as good as these do? Especially on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon on the Coast.

What if I throw in another few words? Words like tacos, and corn, and chicken wings. Dude food Mexican style. Yeah. Those words sound pretty good too.

At La Canteena on Ocean Street, Maroochydore’s foodie street, there’s all this – plus a mural wall that would not be at all out of place in a Melbourne laneway. In fact, if we want to take it further, La Canteena would not be at all out of place in a Melbourne laneway – although I suspect there wouldn’t be quite as much need for shade. Just saying…and by now you should know how much I do love Melbourne.

Of course, it’s not all about beer. With a name like La Canteena, you’d also suspect there would be sangria and tequila and other cool cocktails – and there is.

On the menu ipad you’re given you’ll find pizzas and lots of Mexican street food in share plate style – although I never knew that Brussels Sprouts were traditional Mexican street food…who’d have thunk it. Having said that, these are not like the Brussels your Mum used to force feed you. Oh no – these are very yummy. These ones are pan fried with crispy bacon and drizzled liberally with chipotle mayo.

For me, though, it’s all about the tacos. We’ve sampled the soft shelled crab, the fish, the pulled pork, and the pork belly, but still have a few more left to try.

And the devilled chicken wings. You have to try the chicken wings. And the street corn – buttery with parmesan, lime and herbs.

El Diablo wings

Where: 

19 ¾ Ocean St Maroochydore

When:

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 5pm – 10pm

Saturday, Sunday 12pm – 10pm

More info: 

Find out more at their website or on Facebook