Saturday, 16 March 2013


Pho is a Vietnamese street-food franchise here in London, and if you perform a quick Google image search, the only thing you see are bowls of beef noodle soup, which is said to be their speciality.

The one I went to last weekend is situated in 'The Balcony' – a very glamorous food court with a wide variety of international cuisine – of Westfield's Shepherd's Bush.

I got a "Pho Xao Thit Ga" (£7.75) which are flat wok-fried noodles with peanuts, bean sprouts and greens, and pretty fierce chilli for England's standards. My noodles were meant to contain chicken and shrimp, but somehow they got lots of chicken into my noodles and no shrimp at all. Heck, I was hungry and didn't bother to request a change. (edit: There's an extra "Tom" suffix after the name of the dish if I wanted mine with prawns, which my sister probably missed out when ordering. Okay.)

The noodles were very tasty, and the ingredients were generous. The spiciness level was definitely above that of the average apprehensive-when-it-comes-to-spicy-Asian-food English person, but it was manageable for myself – my spiciness-tolerance-level isn't that high either.

My sister got the famed beef noodles. (edit: there are about 8 types of beef noodles on the menu and I don't know which one she got) I have no idea why the dish is the star of the menu, it really was nothing much. The beef balls were pretty good, but the soup was average. Maybe it's because I've had better ones from Southeast Asia itself, and that the dish is a rare treat in this part of the world?

I've never had much Vietnamese food anyway, but I'm going to start paying more attention to it. The contrasts of flavours in Vietnamese cuisine is slightly sharper than, although similar to, Thai food, which is quite delightful to the taste buds.

Ariel Way
London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham
London W12
07824 662320
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