Monday 24 June 2013

Pho Toan Vietnamese Restaurant

471 High St, Preston, VIC 3072

Pho Toan Resturant on Urbanspoon
With so much competition in the area, another Vietnamese restaurant that wants to do well has to really stand out or do something really niche. This restaurant is one of the newer entrants but hasn't really distinguished itself yet. It also has one of the lower rated places in the area.

The Place
This is a comfortable space and has a basic set up. It is not too gaudy and they don't seat people too closely together, which is good. It is well ventilated and because all the chairs and tables for moveable, it is easy to fit prams as well.

Things to do Nearby: The Preston Markets and High Street Shops of Preston are all close by.

The Food
The food is not bad overall but it doesn't actually stand out all that much. Most of the dishes I have had there have been ok but not outstanding. The Vietnamese Rice Noodle soups here are somewhat sweeter than I like. I believe they use quite a bit of star anise in the soup. It's not all bad and some people do like that sort of sweetness. They do have very generous portions too. They also do the usual range of Vietnamese and Chinese stir fries

The Service
The service is really friendly and polite. They bring things out in a very timely manner and seem to do brisk takeaway trade. It's really one of the frienlier places on High Street, Preston. Perhaps, this is one of the ways it has distinguished itself. I do like the service here.

I like this relatively friendly joint and would probably come again once in a while because they have food that's actually rather decent.

Cultural Moment
Friendliness is important in any culture when it comes to restaurants. I am a bit afraid this 'cultural moment' is going to turn into a bit of a rant. I think people need to say "Please" and "Thank You" a whole lot more wherever they go. What is wrong with a bit of courtesy? Is it because people take it for granted and no longer think it's necessary?

What's with the ordering of food by shouting out "We want more spring rolls!" at a waiter walking past your table? This actually happened when I was dining at Pho Toan. I kid you not! I have seen people walk into restaurants, sit down without looking at the wait staff and just indicate "Give me X or Y" - no eye contact, no engagement.

Am I being too much for a "prim and proper Church lady?" or is my expectation of basic courtesy setting too high a bar. These sort of behaviour from diners is so common these days, it's no wonder some restaurants just 'return the favour' by being downright unengaged too. Hmm, maybe I should just mind my own business :).


  1. Salad are made of raw vegetables. So salad items are need to be separated from other food item to keep them fresh. I always prefer salad bar sneeze guard to protect the salad item from pathogens and external dusts. You can also try it in your restaurants.