Restaurant review: Pho, Upper Street, N1
- Credit: Photo credit: Paul Winch-Furness
Vietnamese food, once the preserve of a small stretch of Kingsland Road, has entered the mainstream – a transition evident nowhere more than the phenomenal success of the Pho chain.
From the original venture in Clerkenwell, they now boast eight restaurants across the capital and have just opened one in Yorkshire which is, by all accounts, doing well.
The owners may be westerners, but they take a serious approach to authenticity – the chefs hail from Vietnam and the proprietors make regular fact-finding trips to Hanoi to check out the street food scene and bring back tasty tips
Even the drinks have ‘nam flavour, from the pun-tastic phojito cocktail to Saigon beer and apple wine.
Fresh, invigorating flavours are the order of the day.
You may also want to watch:
To start, the summer roll was a chilled, zesty version of the spring variety. That said, their spring rolls were splendid, enjoying a crunchy, textured pasty and generous filling.
The salt and pepper squid had a DIY ethos, with seasoning and lime juice sprinkled on to taste.
- 1 Man killed in 'shooting' in north London
- 2 Appeal to find four children missing from north London with father and grandmother
- 3 Man jailed for rape of young girl in north London 40 years ago
- 4 Helen Anderson: Finsbury Park murder victim's father pays tribute to his daughter
- 5 Disused Holloway garages converted into garment-making workspace
- 6 Prince Edward visits youth centre in Islington
- 7 Why Arsenal's Leah Williamson is perfect England captain?
- 8 Environment and equality at heart of council leader's new direction for Islington
- 9 Sadiq Khan urged to denounce £1.2bn Edmonton incinerator
- 10 Mem and Laz Brasserie voted as readers' favourite restaurant
But the real star of the show was the eponymous pho – a huge, hearty, herb laden broth packed to the absolute brim with the meat of your choice.
Full of flavour to begin with, they came accompanied by two types of coriander, Thai basil, more lime and some rather aggressive chillies. Add them bit by bit and watch the taste portfolio grow.
If you like your food restorative and lively, Pho is a good bet.
It makes me wish there was one near the newsroom, although one of those enormous soups for lunch could lead to an involuntary under-the-desk nap in the afternoon.