Photography by Chris Osburn
We've been fans of the original St John Street location of “Vietnamese street food restaurant” Pho since it opened, have been impressed to see the eatery grow to now have multiple locations (four in London and a fairly recent addition in Brighton) and have heard the grumblings from a few sources about service and such at their Great Titchfield Street spot. So, we were more than curious to see how the fifth and latest addition to the Pho portfolio was doing.
The menu's the same as at the other joints, but this has got to be the swishest (if most rustic) of the lot with spacious yet private seating, evocative lighting and attractive elements a la designer Martin Brudnizki. We were pleased with service on our invited visit and were glad to see the food was as good as our experiences at St John Street. According to manager Gavin, even during “soft launch mode”, the resto has been pulling 'em in: celebrities such as Anne Hathaway, Ralph Fiennes and Frankie Boyle as well as a steady flow of regular punters have been spotted slurping big bowls of Pho's signature soups.
As for us, we went with starters of goi cuon tom (fresh summer rolls with prawns and fresh herbs, £3.95) and goi xoai (spicy green mango salad served with pork, dried shrimp and peanuts, £4.50) along with the classic pho tai (thinly sliced steak served in beef stock with rice noodles and fresh herbs, £7.45) and bun cha gio new nuong (pork and lemongrass meatballs with vermicelli noodles and stir fried toppings, fresh herbs, veggie spring roll and peanuts, £7.95) for our mains. All filling and certainly tasty.
No surprises well, except maybe for the lovelier than expected setting just more of the same good food at fairly decent prices.
Pho Soho is located at 163-165 Wardour Street (W1F 8WN). Visit them online at www.phocafe.co.uk.