The constantly evolving culinary landscape in the capital means you can now expect to see easy dining outlets that specialise in unique international cuisine once the preserve of those-in-the-know – ahem, Mexican – but now it seems Vietnamese food is happily making the rounds, with Pho now operating in six locations in the UK. With a heart for simple and nutritious street food, Pho first landed in the UK in 2005 and has been lauded for its use of quality ingredients and its affordable prices – so being a newbie to both Vietnamese food and Pho, I recently visited the ambient and cosy Wardour Street branch, discovering this cuisine is definitely a refreshing alternative to the usual pan-asian fare.
Starters like the goi cuon ga (summer rolls with chicken breast and fresh herbs – £4.25) and the massive goi du du (papaya salad with chicken and fresh herbs – £6.75) make for a tasty intro, with mint and side sauces like nuoc cham and peanut giving a fresh kick. As for the Pho – Vietnam’s national dish – expect a deliciously hearty main, created with homemade stock, and served with a side of basil, mint, coriander, bean sprouts, lime and chilli so you can season your meal to taste. I opted for the tiger prawn version (Pho Tom – £8.95).
Finally, dessert consisted of the pandan pancake (£5.95) – curiously green and chewy, filled with sugary coconut and a yummy honey and ginger ice cream – topping off the sort of meal I’d recommend to anyone after a neat and guilt-free lunch option which I imagine is even lovelier after hours. (Words: Matilda Egere-Cooper)http://www.phocafe.co.uk