BEFORE this horrible pandemic, you would only have to walk past Cafe 55 at lunch time to see how obsessed Freo is with Southeast Asian food.
Crowds at the busy restaurant bled out onto High Street during the midday rush as latecomers joined a long line of hungry punters waiting to get their creamy Laksa, chilli fish or steaming pho fix.
Opening just in time for the cooler months is Phoever. And such is Freo’s affection for Southeast Asian delights, Phoever was already attracting large crowds while dining in was still an option.
It was packed during our recent visit a few weeks ago.
Phoever has taken over the old iPho restaurant at the South Terrace end of Collie Street, next door to an empty building that was once Pink Rice.
The interior theme is simple; white walls, timber booths with black leather bench seats, and a few Asian themed prints filling in the gaps.
The restaurant’s simple fit-out is a sharp contrast to the complex broths and intense flavours of the various pho being served here.
My go-to pho is rare beef ($13.95).
The meaty flavours of the bone broth are intoxicating with hints of garlic, ginger, star anise and roasted onion.
This warm and comforting dish is served with extra chilli, mint and bean sprouts and I always add a squirt of hoisin sauce which adds sweetness.
I love to watch the thin slices of rare beef transform from pink to brown as it heats in its steaming broth bath.
My colleague Nibha reckoned the weather was too hot for pho so she ordered the crispy chicken fried rice ($14.95).
A large neat mound of fried rice is surrounded with a cucumber, carrot and tomato salad, a bowl of chicken soup, and a chicken Maryland.
The fried rice was smokey and the grains were perfectly oiled so it wasn’t dry.
We all commented how juicy the chicken thigh and drumstick was and the skin was crunchy and perfectly seasoned without being too salty.
We ordered a plate of stuffed chicken wings to share ($6.95).
If you’ve never eaten stuffed chicken wings, you really should amend that.
The wing tip remains while the rest of the wing is deboned and stuffed with minced pork and onion then coated and deep fried. It’s the perfect snack and would pair excellently with an icy cold beer.
restaurants, Phoever is very well priced with three of us fed for just over $50.
I can see Phoever growing in popularity as winter time approaches. For now though, eating from the comfort of your home is the only way to enjoy it.
25 Collie Street, Fremantle
Daily 11am – 9pm