So Pho is one of my staple favourites. And that’s saying something as I don’t like going back to the same place. I think it’s boring and there are so many places to try in London. Saying all of that… Friday night was my third visit in the last 6 months!
‘Why do you like it so much Sara??’ I hear you shout… Well you can walk in and get a table with no reservation, the food is yummy, fresh and healthy so you don’t feel guilty pigging out, the chicken is halal… also I’m lazy and it’s just up the road from my flat, I can walk there in 10 mins!
Now back to what you want to know, the food… This time to start we had some veggie spring rolls (Chả giò). A good reliable dish in my opinion. I think only once, have I had a bad spring roll. So ok a fried spring roll is probably not the healthiest thing (completely contradicting my Pho sales pitch, I know!), but there are vegetables in it… that’s something right?? The spring rolls were crispy on the outside and filled with lots of tasty veg. Served with peanut or fish sauce, I personally like the fish sauce better.
For mains I had the hot and spicy chicken noodle soup (Bún gà Huế). Now I know my brown skin means that my tolerance to chilli should naturally be pretty high, and I do love spice and can handle a decent amount. However, I have come to learn that Oriental chilli can be a lot more intense than Indian, so I had previously played it safe with the non-chilli version of this dish, adding my own amount of measured chilli sauce. This time I was feeling brave and thought I could handle it and I was right. I could!
When the waiter arrived with my dish he warned me that the sauce stains (you can see that it is a very deep red) and that he can give me something to cover my clothes. It then made a lot of sense as to why three girls at the next table were all wearing bibs. They looked very stupid… so I kindly declined.
The noodle soup is served with fresh herbs and garnishing on the side – coriander, chilli and others. The addition of these is essential, with the coriander adding a lovely freshness. The dish was yum! A good amount of chicken to noodles and with some delicious spring onions. The sauce was not too spicy, but enough to add great flavour and a kick. The only thing that put me off the dish was that the red sauce had stained the rim of the bowl which made it look oily, so it did not fill me with my usual healthy eating experience.
On past visits I have had the non-chilli version of the dish, i.e. chicken breast in chicken stock (Phở gà), and chicken vermicelli noodles (Bún gà Nướng). Out of the three, the vermicelli noodles taste the freshest and healthiest as the dish consists of a lot of raw vegetables and you can put as much or as little sauce as you like. The chicken breast in chicken stock is a tasty noodle soup and I would say I prefer this to the chilli version I had this time.
To drink I had fresh apple, mint and lime juice, by now you might have guessed… I love my fresh juice and this is such a great combination. Mostly juice with a bit of pulp provides a nice consistency. Highly recommended!
A couple of caveats to end on, only the chicken is halal and the low lighting = awfully dark pictures (sorry!).
Let me know your guys thoughts on Pho!