Pho

Vietnamese street-style food in an informal café setting

Where? 3 Great Titchfield Street, London, W1W 8AX (020 7436 0111, www.phocafe.co.uk)

What’s in a name? Pho, prounced as the French feu, is a Vietnamese rice noodle soup and often described as ‘Vietnam in a bowl’. Eaten by over 80 million people in the Asian country, Brits Stephen and Juliette Wall decided to dish it up in the UK. This is the Vietnam equivalent of Wagamamas.

What’s on the menu? Aside from the classic dish the café is known for, tuck into starters including the popular Goi Cuon, summer rolls with prawn, chicken or veggie fillings. Super-healthy, these parcels are similar to spring rolls but haven’t been near a deep fat fryer.

Sounds delicious. But I don’t fancy noodle soup.. Then why not go for the ‘bun’ noodles instead. Vermicelli rice noodles, served cold in true Vietnamese style, with stir fried hot toppings including veggie spring rolls, lemongrass beef, pork meatballs or juicy tiger prawns.

And what should we wash it down with? There is a good selection of Vietnamese beers to work your way through, aside from a selection of wines. Sample the Beer Lao for a true taste of the country – every traveller gets hooked on it.

And if we leave room for dessert? You may not have space to squeeze it in after the generous portions that are served up. However if you do have a little corner left, then make a beeline for the ginger-flavoured ice cream.

Need to know If you happen to be a messy eater or accompanied by one, there are disposable bibs for those wanting to enjoy their noodle-slurping in peace! Plus if you’re feeling creative, mix and match your own stocks and toppings or order ahead and get a takeaway to enjoy at home.

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