Craving Vietnamese food in the city? Well now you can satiate your noodle soup desires at the restaurant Pho found in Clerkenwell. Unlike its brethren congregated along Kingsland Road, Pho stands out as the only Vietnamese restaurant amongst the more upmarket dining options on St Johns Street. Pho has a decent number of tables though always appears full anytime past seven during the week when its open. After that you'll have to queue and chances are you'll also be waiting for some time.
Diners appear younger and less formal than the city workers filling all the other nearby restaurants – probably related to their decently priced meals and more informal dining experience on offer. The menu is simple and clear with clear translations for the dishes on offer. Unsurprisingly and keeping to their name, they offer the fourteen variations on the classic rice noodle soup, Pho, as well as a small selection of Bun (noodles), Banh Mi (sandwiches), salad bowls and side dishes doubling as starters.
Though we can't guarantee its authenticity, the soups are served in huge portions and seem packed with plenty of flavour. They serve each dish with freshly prepared accompaniments of mint, bean sprouts, lime and chilli as well as the BBQ, chilli and fish sauces sitting on each table. Drinks range from Vietnamese beers, wine, organic teas, newly squeezed juices, unfolding balls of jasmine tea, and the strangest Weasel picked, digested and regurgitated coffee you'll ever taste.
Pho – Vietnam in a bowl
86 St John Street, London EC1M 4EH
By Patrick Kua