An Ode to Pho

A couple of years ago, I used to work a couple of minutes away from Pho in Clerkenwell and used to pop in once or twice a week for some delicious Vietnamese food at lunchtime. I was only a habitual user. I recently popped in with my friend Dena and since then I’ve developed a full blown addiction. I’ve either popped in or grabbed a Pho-to-go every other day; over the weekend I went for dinner twice. This is definitely an infatuation.  

I’m a huge food fan; I think it equals fashion and travel as one of my favourite things to indulge in. But I tend to really indulge in food; crab donuts at Chiltern Firehouse, the Full Elvis at Duck & Waffle and the habanero soft shell crab at La Bodega Negra are some of my favourites. By contrast, Pho is simple, healthy and super fresh but totally moreish. It’s comfort food without the stodge and bad bits.


My favourite dish is the Chicken Bun – lemongrass and chilli vermicelli rice noodles topped with fresh herbs, beansprouts, a veggie spring roll and peanuts with your choice of meat or veggie. They come with a delicious nuoc cham sauce which you pour over, mix then devour. The lemongrass makes it taste super light and crisp while the chilli and nuoc cham add a little bite. My mouth definitely did not water as I typed that out. I usually go for cha gio (spring rolls) on the side, which I swap for goi cuon (summer rolls) in summer when I fancy something a little lighter.


Last weekend I popped into Pho twice; once with a friend who spent a few weeks in Vietnam recently and the second time with a friend who is half Vietnamese. They were the toughest critics as they’re used to the real deal but they are now both as obsessed as I am! Both of them have been texting me about Pho every day and my half Vietnamese friend has already been back for more (yes, I’m jealous).

As with everything that I love, I just had to share Pho with you. There are a few Pho restaurants around London and beyond, but be warned it’s a slippery slope to addiction.


Reena Rai

Reena Rai is a 30-something London-based fashion, travel and lifestyle blogger. She has been blogging for 10 years (!), previously at before launching her self-titled blog.


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