RESTAURANT REVIEW: PHO, BATTERSEA

Pho opened on Battersea Rise recently where Dime Bar used to be. The Vietnamese street food restaurant was bustling when we visited (mid-week, evening), an exciting new vibe reverberated around the room. Pho doesn’t take reservations, but it has four separate rooms and space for 90 diners and our welcome was so warm we felt like the only ones in the room.

Pho’s interior decor is slick. Outside its contemporary black-tiled exterior shines while inside a combination of natural materials, such as reclaimed woods and wicker lampshades, set the scene. We sat in a booth and ordered a couple a couple of cocktails to drink while dissecting the menu. Made with Son Tinh spirits or Vietnamese vodka, Pho cocktails come with a twist – a V&T instead of a G&T for example.

The menu features a wide range of pho, that’s Vietnam’s national dish (an aromatic rice noodle broth) as well as Vietnamese salads, noodle dishes and curries.

To start, we ordered fried baby squid with a zesty and distinctive salt, pepper and lime dip; a crispy spring roll filled with tiger prawns, crab and pork with moreish dip plus homemade pork and lemongrass meatballs that you wrap in lettuce to eat. Moving on to the pho, the generously sized house special with tiger prawns, tofu and flash-fried steak was packed with flavour and the hot and spicy brisket beef came with a kick (likely the chilli shrimp paste). Other options include beef meatballs, chicken breast, and tofu and button mushrooms in a veggie stock. For dessert, a shared banana fritter with ice cream felt decadent.

While it seemed the obvious choice to order a pho while in Pho, I’ll be back to try out one of the salads (crunchy green papaya salad with peanuts and prawn crackers caught my eye) and a Vietnamese iced coffee, the drink of the summer.

Cost
Around £50 including drinks for two

Good for…
Inexpensive eats and flavoursome pho

What to eat…
It would be criminal to come to Pho and not order pho

What to know…
Husband and wife Stephen and Jules Wall opened Pho after spending time travelling in Vietnam

 

50-52 Battersea Rise, SW11 1EG; 020 3058 1756; phocafe.co.uk