I’ve been poorly over the past few days and whilst I was trying to win the battle between fatigue and stomach bugs on my sickbed, I was failing terribly at battling this humongous craving for the ultimate remedy: a good bowl of steaming hot, spicy pho
(and yes, it’s better than chocolate, peanut butter and ice cream).
There are some places in town that serve good Vietnamese food
(my favourite is Mien Tay
) but I keep coming back to Pho
for, well, pho. The branch in Soho is comforting (more spacious than the one near Oxford Circus) and is reminiscent of the food you get when you visit streets of Ho Chi Minh. Service is unpretentious and straightforward, food is well prepared but quick, and your bowls/plates come in giant servings but cheap and delicious.
My favourite thing to order is the pho tai bo vien
(£7.95) or pho with steak and meatballs. I’d top the steamy soup with all the veggies and all the chili and eat it without stirring. I don’t really put any other sauce because the broth is bang on with beefy, healthy, aromatic flavours. Sometimes I’d take the meatballs out and eat them with hoi sin sauce and a dollop of sriracha
I like their bun noodles
too. They’re pretty good for lunch as they’re very filling but definitely not stodgy. My favourite is the bun cha gio nem nuong
(pork & lemongrass meatballs, £7.95). The veggies are fresh and crunchy and I love the crushed nuts on top. They come with a spring roll too. YUM!
The pho xao is pretty decent too. I like the pho xao tit bo (£8.75) best. It’s nice and spicy and the beef is always tender. I can’t imagine stir-fried noodles with any other meat. I know most people like theirs with chicken but I love my red meat.
I’m feeling relatively better now and I think 90% of my energy has been restored. I’ve managed to fight the bugs with a whole lot of antibiotics, sleep and praline ice cream. I may have won that battle easily… but I’m still weak at the thought of a big bowl of pho.
163-165 Wardour Street, London, W1F 8WN | Tel: 02074 343 938
Average spend: £12 for noodles and a drink, £20 for the whole shebang