Pho – Farringdon

Reviewed on August 31st, 2015 by Dina

There is only one thing that had to be tried when visiting Pho and it had to be the Vietnamese national dish of the noodle soup, Pho. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of other items on the menu that sounded just as tasty such as the vermicelli noodles Bun, broken rice Com Tam and the various starters.

The Pho Nam Rom was made of enoki, shitake and button mushrooms in a vegetable broth. It was a superb fresh tasting soup with a light flavour and there was a real depth to the mushrooms. So many mushrooms, spring onions and rice noodles made this wholesome soup. It was a bonus that it had my favourite of enoki mushrooms too. A side plate of fresh herbs, lime, chilli and beansprouts came with the Pho. Extra condiments of fish sauce, garlic vinegar and chilli paste were on the table.

Even though there was enough flavour with the Pho Nam Rom, it was great that you were able to add the herbs and sauces to your liking. A much needed wooden spoon together with the chopsticks was the only way to delve into the big steaming bowl of Pho.

Pho is quite a small restaurant with wooden tables and red chairs. There is a big illuminated “Pho” sign at one end of the restaurant. All of the food was made fresh and it seemed that the kitchen was on the lower level. There was fairly loud music playing in the background mostly from the 80s and 90s. The staff explained the menu really well and they were friendly and gave service with a smile.

Having a hearty bowl of Pho at Pho was really satisfying. The portions are big so definitely go there on an empty stomach.

Pho, 86 St John Street, London, EC1M 4EH

Rating: ★★★★☆

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Cafe VN – Farringdon / Clerkenwell

Reviewed on February 15th, 2013 by Dina

There is something truly comforting about a hot steaming bowl of pho. The combination of the thick rice noodles, the broth and the vegetables is perfect.

Cafe VN specialises in pho – the noodle soup, and bun – the noodle salad. The bright lime green sign lights up the outside of the restaurant. The green colour theme is followed through into the interior. The restaurant has a casual feel to it and even though it is fairly small in size, it is very clean and light. Red lantern style lights hang from the ceiling.

The vegetarian Summer Rolls were a cold starter. Shredded lettuce, cucumber and thin noodles were wrapped in the rice paper. The rolls were fresh and light.

In contrast, the vegetarian Spring Rolls were hot and generously filled. They were quite oily. Both the Summer and Spring Rolls were served with a sweet chilli dipping sauce.

Cafe VN Summer RollsCafe VNCafe VN Spring RollsCafe VN Vegetarian PhoCafe VN Pho GarnishesCafe VN Spicy Vegetarian PhoCafe VN InteriorCafe VN Strawberry Cheesecake Ice CreamCafe VN Interior 2

To drink, it was pure coconut water. This was a refreshing drink, served in a tall glass. The coconut water did not have any sugar or additives added to it and it did not need it either.

Even though pho was what I had in mind, it did not stop me getting tempted by the stir fried noodle and rice dishes. The food that was being brought out to the other diners all looked really good.

But I stuck to my original choice of the Vegetarian Pho. This noodle soup came with thick rice noodles, tofu and mushrooms. It could also be ordered as a spicy version. The garnishes that came on the side were basil, beansprouts, lime and chilli. The pho was really delicious and filling. The broth had a light flavour to it. The big bowl of pho was certainly a hearty dish!

A simple dessert of ice cream completed the meal. The Ben and Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream was better than other ice creams that I have had of the same flavour. Big chunks of the biscuit bases and strawberry pieces, combined with the creamy ice cream was just lovely!

Cafe VN gave us fresh tasting and filling Vietnamese food. The food was cooked to order. The staff were friendly and gave us service with a smile. It would be nice to come back to Cafe VN to try the other dishes!

Cafe VN, 144 Clerkenwell Road, London, EC1R 5DP

Rating: ★★★★★

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Nem Nem Quan – Stockholm (Sodermalm)

Reviewed on August 5th, 2010 by Dina

As you enter Nem Nem Quan, some of the seating area is divided by lush green bamboo plants! This Vietnamese restaurant is a busy one! The first time we went there, it was full and the staff weren’t sure how long we would have to wait for a table.

So, we tried again a couple of days later and our luck was in. It was only a short wait till we were given a table!

The menu was in Swedish and they did not have one in English. Again, we were lucky as my friend was on hand to translate! It seemed that some of the waitresses could speak English, so they would have been able to help us too!

This particular evening, I was in an indecisive mood. I really couldn’t decide whether I wanted a rice dish or a noodle one. I was also considering a Pho dish (noodles in soup), that a couple of my friends were having. But there was no vegetarian Pho option. So that quickly ruled that idea out!