Think summer ends at the end of August? No way, when you pick the Pho way.
Pho – the Vietnamese restaurant in the Corn Exchange – is keeping the freshest flavours of summer alive with some great new dishes and drinks on the menu.
It may be warm and muggy outside but the summer selection of drinks will help you keep your cool.
And if you thought summer drinks means cheesy umbrellas and trimmings at the top of a glass, think again.
There’s lots of drinks brimming with fresh herbs and botanical properties to choose from – an ideal accompaniment to the light, yet tasty food on offer.
One of nature’s ultimate hydrators, coconut water, is available on its own or as a tasty blend with pineapple or cucumber.
The spritzers and homemade lemonade served with a blend of sweet herbs are really refreshing and come highly recommended.
Alcohol aficionados will be glad to know that boozy options are available too. The signature cocktail, the cheekily-named Phojito, muddles fresh mint with lime and clear rice spirit.
They also serve gin and tonics – the so-called ‘soup of the day.’ I certainly wouldn’t say no to a bowlful.
The food at Pho is perfect for anyone who struggles to find something they can eat when they dine out. The menu is largely dairy and gluten free (accredited by Coeliac UK), as well as low in fat. And you probably won’t notice the difference.
That’s because Pho use the freshest ingredients and authentic recipes, with produce delivered daily.
The starters are bite-size bursts of intense flavour, accompanied by dipping sauces. The peanut sauce is that good it should be bottled and sold. Just saying.
Dishes include homemade pork and lemongrass meatballs, seasoned chicken wings and the highly recommended summer rolls, made with fresh rice paper.
Delightfully squishy on the outside with tender rice and array of meat and herbs within, also available veggie, these little morsels will have your tastebuds rockin’ and a rollin’.
I added a superb new side dish of stir-fried Chinese leaf to accompany it, which had a great soy sauce tang.
Rice Bowls (cơm tấm đặc biệt), one of the newest dishes on the menu, smashes a few myths. Because if you think rice is stodgy and boring, a bowlful of this will change your mind. Carefully cooked grains are topped with wok-friend Chinese leaf, radish, cucumber, pickles and plenty of chilli, all with a choice of chargrilled meats to choose from.
Pho is actually a fragrant noodle broth and the national dish of Vietnam. It comes in an enormous bowl, simmered with your pick of protein – beef brisket, steak, chicken breast, king prawn, tofu and mushroom just some of the choices – served with a plate piled high in herbs and chillies.
A permanent addition to the menu is the house special Spicy Green, which combines tender chicken, morning glory, green beans and pak choi.
And just in case you didn’t already know, a bowl of Pho is the ultimate hangover cure. With party weekends and the start of university coming up for many, the natural boost you’ll get from a bowlful here is well-worth remembering.
The dessert course is one which is often neglected in some pan-Asian restaurants. Typically, it’s limited to ice cream and fritters.
Pho serve up stylish recreations of these classics – the coconut ice cream is particularly worth a mention – as well as a range of other indulgent options.
One of the newest desserts on the menu is passion fruit cheesecake, a sweet hit with a lovey layer of tang.
And there’s even more good news. In three words…chocolate truffle slab. This dessert is the like the best of a brownie and chocolate mousse combined, served with green tea ice cream.
There’s also the choice of two sorbets made with over 55% fruit content, which are dairy- free.
Rather than the hectic ordering system you’ll see in so many city centre eateries, our server Alex was attentive, happy to explain everything on the menu and brought out our dishes with remarkable speed – especially considering it’s all made on site.
Pho is the place to go for healthy, nutritious and colourful food and drink that keeps summer alive.