There’s a lot that happens deep down in the bowels of Sydney’s central business district. Like ants, us city folk scurry about through pedestrian thoroughfares from underground trains, through artificially-lit arcades and out onto pavement to the buildings in which we work. Life in the big smoke. It’s a joy. These are not just thoroughfares. The few that we have contain a multitude of shops, services and places to eat and aside from that they’re a great way to get around and keep dry when it’s raining.
Somewhere in the subterranean tunnel between Hunter Connection and Wynyard is this weekday Vietnamese eatery, Naughty Chef Pho. It’s been around for quite some time and seems to have attracted a following with its generous bowls of noodle soup. It may not parallel authenticity but it does come close with a good selection of pho and other Vietnamese plates and bowls worthy of attention. Spicy beef pho (9.5), pork chop broken rice (9.5) , vermicelli noodles topped with fingers of fragrant char-grilled minced pork (9); it’s all pretty good for an underground eatery.
Takeaway is always an option but just next door is a mocked-up dining area draped in bamboo screening, fans, cone hats and artwork, all beneath a black-painted ceiling that reminds you of your whereabouts. Perhaps for a fleeting second you could pretend you’re in downtown Saigon, but the realisation of having to get back to work breaks that fantasy as the dude sharing the table next to you starts talking local finance on his mobile phone.