Saturday, 6 November 2010


One of the perks of working in trendy Clerkenwell is the abundance of great places to eat no matter what cuisine or price range you are after.  You can eat very well for a fiver at Whitecross Street Market  and Exmouth Market or splash out and enjoy the marvels of places like The Modern Pantry and Moro.  

You can also go to Pho on St. John's Street.  Part of a five restaurant chain, this Vietnamese restaurant serves high-quality tasty food at low prices. It is the definition of good value for money and the 
service is tip top.

The philosophy of Vietnamese cuisine is that you create your own dish - you decide how much fresh mint you want in your Pho and how spicy you want it to be.  This place abides fully by the philosophy as you will see from the plates with fresh chilli, mint and basil lined up on the bar waiting to be served. 

The menu consists of traditional Vietnamese dishes including the national dish Pho, spring rolls, salads, and noodles. Each dish looks inviting and oozes freshness thanks to the fresh herbs, sauces and toppings that accompany most dishes.

I have eaten at this place more times than any other restaurant in London.  Yes, it is a stone's throw away from my office and, yes, it used to be the prefered meeting place for my talented friend Gabriele and I before she left London.  
I would, however, gladly cross international borders for number 29 on their menu, Bun Ga.  

Here is why: you get a wonderfully big bowl of vermicelli rice noodles, stir-fried chicken seasoned with lemon grass, peanuts, grated carrots,  fresh herbs and a spring roll.   It comes with regular or spicy Nuoc Cham sauce.  I go for the regular one - the spicy one is very spicy and I am no sissy when it comes to spiciness. 

I have tried a number of the starters such as the traditional Vietnamese crepes and spring rolls which are all very tasty and leave you wanting more.  Desserts include fresh sorbet and ice cream - be sure to leave room for a scoop of honey and ginger ice cream. 

Pho is located on 86 St. John Street in Clerkenwell. 

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