Pho, the vietnamese street food restaurant, is a popular spot with many already. The restaurants are always bustling, almost full to queues outside for Pho to Go, whether at lunchtime or evening. It’s a sign of a good spot, as well as those who return for the likes of the comforting warming dishes like pho noodle soups, curry and rice bowls, like I do.
The relaxed yet friendly service, and the minimalist, stripped back canteen feel with a touch of the South-East asia, makes Pho feel more like you’re popping into a casual dining spot and taking things at your own pace. I love this style of dining as much as anything else.
I went a quite a few times with one of my old work places, for Pho to Go for full company meetings or the friday hangover cure. I’m usually a big fan of the Spicy Green Pho or the wok fried noodles with tofu. But this month Pho has launched a new ‘Healthy Specials’ menu, and I got super excited to see what it was about.
The new menu features two starters and four mains.
From hand rolls to cauliflower rice and courgetti, everything sounded pretty delicious. Calories, and on some dishes fat/protein has also been included, which is super handy for those using this this month to get the balance back after the festivities. But don’t get hooked on it, you just need balance. To be honest, it’s all ‘healthy’ so go by what you fancy!
The Enoki Hand Rolls, rice paper hand roll filled with crunchy veg, enoki mushrooms, fine vermicelli & perilla, were something I wouldn’t usually order. So I had to – January is for trying new things right?! They were a little different at first, served cold but they were pretty tasty. Very fresh, they’re a fab mix of textures. They came with a peanut sauce which is always a winner! Just a little messy to eat – but perhaps I still need to master the ways of consuming hand rolls.
The Boodle Pho Chin, tender brisket in beef broth with butternut squash “noodles”, was deep in flavour, comforting and super warming. The ultimate healthy comfort meal. The beef broth was rich, the boodles a la dente, the beef was super tender, and the beansprouts crunchy. Mixed with the fresh garnish, it was a fab mix of textures and flavours.
I thought I’d miss the carbs, but I did nothing of the sort.
The Cauliflower Rice Bowl, topped with wok-fried Chinese leaf, veggies, pickles, herbs & fresh chillies, chosen with Tofu and vegetable was a delicious option too. With a fantastic base of perfect cauliflower rice , and the mix of flavours and textures it made one fab dish.
We couldn’t help but order a side of Đậu que from the normal menu too. A la dente Green beans & sugarsnaps, in a mild peanut dressing and sprinkled in sesame seeds. They were slightly crunchy, drizzled in just enough peanut sauce to add the flavour, with extra peanut sauce for dipping. That sauce is the one. Definitely a side you HAVE to order!
To accompany the new healthy specials dishes, are handful of teas and a soft drink. The UpBeet tea, an energising tea with hibiscus, and the Happy tea, an uplifting beverage with lemon balm, were both subtle in flavour yet beautiful teas. I’d definitely recommend finishing with one of these!
But the drink which stole the show was the soft drink option – The Nojito.
A booze-free cocktail of muddled lime & mint, homemade lemonade & soda, it’s so refreshing and zesty. It made a fab accompaniment to our dishes and is definitely the one for those doing Dry January.
I thought the usual Pho menu was great, but this new one has outdone it. We had such a lovely lunch date over this feast. I’m definitely heading back for more – Next time I’m trying the courgetti!
- Price: The new healthy mains are priced between £9.25 and £10.95 (in the Covent Garden branch), which is really cheap, especially for the quality and portions!
- Food: There are some fantastic healthier options for if you’re trying to work on that balance this January, or even if you’re usually one for the lighter options. The new dishes are super fresh yet warming, don’t lack in flavour, and are just as filling!
- Drinks: The teas went down well, but the Nojito stole the show – so refreshing. Could even make you consider going with the non-alcoholic option more often!
- Atmosphere: minimalist, stripped back canteen feel, with relaxed service
- Wait: It does get busy so be prepared to wait at peak times. Although you can book a table at some of the locations, or even go Pho to Go and take out.
I do very much recommend popping along this January. It’s definitely worth the trip! How are you keeping the balance this month? Tried any new healthy menus?
*I was invited along to review the new ‘Healthy Specials’ menu at Pho on behalf of East London Girl, but wanted to share with you too…all views my own.