Phamish, Darlinghurst

Those of you with eagle eyes will have noticed that Phamish has been sitting at the top of my 'to-eat' list for a while (though to be honest, that list isn't in any particular order).

Luckily for me, the Chief was just as eager to try Phamish as I was, so we made a date to check out this notorious Vietnamese place.

I was really confused about the location - when I googled it, some sites said it was located on Burton St, some said Liverpool St. I called them in the afternoon and they said they were located on Palmer St. Okay.....

Anyway, google maps showed me that all three of the locations seemed to be quite close to each other so I figured that I couldn't really get lost.

And I didn't. Not really. I only asked for directions at a convenience store once. Which I think is pretty good! My tip, if you want to try this place yourself, is to just walk down Oxford St and turn onto Palmer Street from there, keep heading down and it will be on your right.

It's also a bit tucked away. The storefront is at the end of a small square, with another two restaurants.

At Phamish

Half of the seating is inside, and half is outside. We arrived at 6.30pm because we heard that the wait can be long if you don't get there early. This proved to be true as the place quickly filled up and people began to wait for seating.

The menu is written inside above the counter, and you order and pay at the counter (no menu is given to you). So after squinting at the menu for five minutes, the Chief and I decided to share some dishes.

Water glasses

Although they immediatley serve you with some table water when you arrive, I wish they were more diligent in refilling throughout your meal, or at the least, could leave a bottle on the table.

The food arrived rapidly and we dug in.

Blue swimmer crab dumplings ($12 for four)

They came with a light, tangy dipping sauce (see the bowl in the background?)

The dumplings were very hot, indicating that they had been freshly deep fried. There were some nice chunks of crab inside the dumplings but I felt as though the crab flavour was overwhelmed by the other flavours inside the filling.

Duck and prawn pancakes ($14 for two)

Accompanying dipping sauce

The Chief and I ordered two of these each and she absolutely loved them. I was a bit more underwhelmed. I think because I had seen a lot of photos of these on other food blogs and they looked so amazing that I expecting something completely droolworthy. But the taste was quite ordinary. There were pieces of roasted duck, pieces of prawn, an egg omelette, and then other veggies that you normally get in a Vietnamese rice paper roll.

Inside the roll - the yellow egg curved around the outside and a piece of prawn

Since the day had been very humid, the Chief and I had also ordered a salad to go with our meal.

Green papaya and beef salad ($16.50)

It was light and fresh. Pretty much the same as any other beef salad that you can get elsewhere.

So the food wasn't amazing enough to convince me that Phamish was worth a return trip. We also felt slightly pressured to leave at the end of our meal due to the huddles of people waiting for a table.

Phamish on Urbanspoon


We have been writing about food in Sydney since 2009. No place is too far or too wide for us to travel to visit. We always give an honest opinion and love to hear your comments too. Here's to an ever-growing society of foodies!


  1. The food looked good, but your review didn't sound very convincing..

  2. Hi Mobblees: I don't really aim for my reviews to be 'convincing', as in 'convincing people to visit'. I only write about my own experience and thoughts, with no aim of either convincing or discouraging people to go.