funky fresh flavoursome vietnamese
163-165 Wardour Street
PHO CHIN £7.45
I had this meaty noodle broth, as it was raining outside [surprise sur-fucking-prise], and so it seemed appropriate. Depending on the chef it is quite garlicy, but full of tasty stock which is nicely tempered by noodles and strips of beef.
GOI DU DU £6.75/£7.75
This fresh and crispy papaya salad with chicken or prawn is quite small but very delicious and fresh.
Pho is a dark, stylish and steamy Vietnamese eatery, always full of hustle and bustle, the restaurant itself imitates the hectic buzz of it’s country of origin. Fairly priced dishes which, despite climbing a bit far from the £5 bracket, are very generous and full of flavour which I personally found quite surprising with Vietnamese, as past experiences have presented watery, bland dishes overcome with coriander and plain noodles.
Instead, Pho presents its dishes with an energetic zeal about the ingredients which is hard to ignore. Bunches of fresh herbs with every pho, as well as tasty salads to start or to nibble on if you aren’t in the mood of a big bowl of noodle soup.
VERDICT – The overriding sense of the majority of these dishes is that of being Fresh and healthy, not in the cheeky way but in the fresh-dew-on-summer-grass way, especially if you have one of the delicious fresh juice blends on offer. I am not sure I would choose to go to Pho on a hot day mainly because of the dark decor and the steam that rises from their signature dish, but it is great for when it is cold and wet outside [the majority of the time], and also for sharing dishes if you weren’t too hungry [there is also Pho-to-go should you be in a rush].
SURROUNDINGS – the low lighting and bamboo fittings make Pho stand out as a stylish and upmarket Vietnamese, compared with its more gaudy cousins down the road in China town. It is nice to go to an asian restaurant which is quite refrained with both its display of food and its décor and not sushi.