Astrid’s Mom and sister, Lyris, were visiting London and we decided to go for a Vietnamese dinner near our houses (as we were literally neighbours up until this Saturday when I moved). Pho is a family run business and they opened their first restaurant in Clerkenwell in the summer of 2005 and now have 7 restaurants around London and 1 in Brighton.
Their Spitalfields restaurant has a great vibe and atmosphere. It has a Hanoi village-type feel to it.
I have had a Thai mango salad before, but never a Vietnamese one. Lyris insisted that it is delicious so we ordered it. It is called Goi Xoai (£5.95), which was described on the menu as a spicy green mango salad topped with pork, dried shrimp & peanuts. It was delicious indeed and I would definitely order this again!
Of course we also had the summer rolls… to me it is a MUST when going to a Vietnamese. We had the veggie summer roll (£3.95) this time, which I personally have never tried before, as I always go for the prawn. It was just as refreshing and tasty and had more of a crunchiness to it from all the extra vegetables.
I went for the brisket and meatball Pho (£8.25) for my main. The meatballs are not the usual bouncy, chewy meatballs that you get in an Asian restaurant. Instead they were quite dry for my liking and tasted more like an Italian meatball. The rest of the soup was amazing though – I am always a big fan of a bowl of pho and its flavoursome broth. I love the way that you add the vegetables and sauces to your pho to make it your own.
Lyris and her Mom had the Pho with Brisket (Pho Chin) and Astrid had the hot and spicey tofo and mushroom soup (Bun Chay Hue). They also all looked very tasty.
The fun thing about Pho is that they do fabulous cocktails and if you are not up for an alcoholic beverage, then they do amazing teas which start off as a small ball and then turn into blossomed flowers in your drinks (literally).
A great new addition to the Great Pho Mile!