Rich soups, fresh summer rolls, spicy salads and noodles of all kinds – Pho have got Vietnamese food down. Popping up as the first Viet street food restaurant in London just over a decade ago, the guys here have been bringing the authentic, awesome taste of the East right here to Britain. And we couldn't be happier about it. Let's take a look at what all the fuss is about.
Vietnamese cuisine is all about herbs, vegetables and rice met with intense flavours like soy, fish sauce, lemongrass, lime and ginger. It's also considered one of the healthiest cuisines in the world – and it's not often that you get the holy trinity of healthy, delicious and rich all in one dish.
It won't surprise you to know that the star of the show is their Phở – pronounced 'fuh' – Vietnam's national dish and these guys' favourite. It's an aromatic soup with rice noodles, and they do it justice here.
Though they take tradition seriously, they also let creative license take the reins too – that's why you'll find 15 different pho dishes. Get yours with tender beef brisket, meatballs or chicken if you like to honour the classics – but opt for our favourite, the flash fried steak and prawns, if you're feeling the fusion. Vegetarians can get in on the fun too, with bowls full of mushrooms or tofu to feed your soul.
From Vietnam directly to your door
Pho is a dream come true. Everything started in Ho Chi Minh City, where British couple Stephen and Juliette Wall sampled the amazing local food and fell in love. It was over an empty bowl of pho that they decided to open their own Vietnamese restaurant. And in 2005, Pho became a reality – and London's first Vietnamese-inspired street food joint.
Fast-forward a decade and you'll find more than 20 Phos around the country – from Manchester to Leeds, Bristol to Cambridge. But Pho is still a family-run restaurant, offering up all the scents and flavours of the most authentic and popular Viet dishes.
Light or indulgent?
Want to taste the best recipes but don't know where to start? We love the Nem Hải Sản to kick start our Vietnamese feast, where you'll get a crispy spring roll stuffed with king prawn, crab and pork, served up with a special house dipping sauce. If you're after something lighter – and it also works great as an unforgettable lunch – go for the Gỏi Đuđủ, a fresh salad with chicken or prawns, papaya, peanuts and prawn crackers.
If you're not on the noodle train, head to the Cơm Tấm section. You'll find a zingy Vietnamese curry packed with all sorts of vegetables and mushrooms, topped off with nuts and fragrant rice. You can have yours with chicken, prawn, beef brisket, dried shrimp or tofu and mushrooms.