Trung Ly once owned Pho 24, a fast-food empire that became the Subway of Vietnam’s pho industry. Now he runs a family business. There was no crashing bankruptcy – just a change of heart. He sold Pho 24 to try his hand at good food, rather than fast food. Enlisting the best chef he knew, his wife Ngoc Mai, he headed to Australia to open Bon Bistro, Broadway’s flashiest Vietnamese restaurant.
Besides the small size, it's unlike most Vietnamese eateries in the area. It's far more elaborate to look at, for one. There are no plastic tables or cheap laminated menus here. Instead there's light woods, ornate lampshades, one wall dressed with art, and another covered in mirrors and French shutters.
On the menu there’s a few rarities such as Vietnamese-style sautéed corn fried with shrimp paste. And superbly garlicky clay pot rice that, like a Korean dolsot bibimbap, gets crispier the longer you leave it. The spring rolls aren’t the regular kind, but the traditional version with thin pastry, mixed mincemeat and house-made fish sauce.
Popular dishes such as vermicelli salad, Vietnamese pancakes and pho all make appearances as well. Sadly, there’s no crisp lagers to back it up – just fresh juices.