Consider The Sauce: Whole new barbecue experience at Phi Phi 2

Phi Phi 2 is a new sister eatery to the local favourite across the road.

Phi Phi 2, with its lighter, tighter lunch menu, serves a limited range of curries and salads.

But the night-time action is overwhelmingly about cooked-at-table BBQ and hot pots.

Phi Phi 2

  • Address: 31a Alfrieda Street, St Albans
  • Phone: 9077 2466


Given the hot pot variation is freely available at a couple of nearby joints and more broadly across the west, almost all customers go the BBQ route.

We do, too, with abandon and, ultimately, great joy.

Phi Phi 2 is done out in dark wood, with most of the seating in booths that line the long room. There’s a trio of tall, small tables at the front windows overlooking Alfrieda Street and a couple of bigger tables at the back.

Our host, Jentsy, tells us the BBQ food here has its roots very deeply in South Korea, but much of the seasoning/sauces/marinades and the ritual come more directly from Vietnam where this kind of cooking is very popular.

Jentsy cooks, Bennie watches at Phi Phi 2. Photo: Kenny Weir
Jentsy cooks, Bennie watches at Phi Phi 2. Photo: Kenny Weir

We start with two dishes from the entree list.

Crispy tiger prawns ($12.90) are cocooned in crunchy noodles that shatter upon being chomped. The prawns, dipped in the accompanying sauce, are excellent.

BBQ lamb ribs ($10.90) seem a big serve, but there are just four, resting on a fluffy bed of greens. They’re fine: fatty, as expected, but with great flavour.

Then we’re onto sides ’n’ stuff – a green salad, bowls of kimchi and pickled bean sprouts, and the like.

It may not be saying a helluva lot, but this is the best kimchi we’ve ever had.

As well, we are each given three dipping sauces for the BBQ goodies – soy/miso, a mild chilli with lemongrass, and a tamarind.

Here’s what we order: Pork belly salt-chilli marinade ($12.90), ox tongue ($9.90) and chicken thigh Thai marinade ($11.90). We also get a vegetable and mushroom combo ($14).

The glowing coals are brought to our table and then it’s on! The vegetables take a good deal longer than the meats, but it’s all fantastic.

The meats are charred nicely, every mouthful succulent. Bottom line – this is some kind of nirvana for meat eaters.

Bennie rates the pork belly the highest; I love the ox tongue the most. The vegetables are all terrific, too – three different kinds of mushroom, okra, pumpkin, eggplant, corn.

The one lapse – and the only quibble – are the chat spud halves. They’ve been partially boiled before hitting the grill, but are still a little under-cooked and even (perhaps) out of place.

It’s a lovely thing to see some flash on Alfrieda Street!

Phi Phi 2. Photo: Kenny Weir
Vegetable combo at Phi Phi 2. Photo: Kenny Weir