neon sign "Pho"

What the Pho?

Hello! This one is a bit of a foodie post for you today!

I recently attended a launch event for the Manchester branch of Pho (apparently the dish is pronounced “Fuh”),a Vietnamese street food restaurant which has restaurants in London and Leeds. It was actually my first foray into Vietnamese food, so I was glad to have a seasoned foodie at my side in Roisin of Dromomania blog!

The Restaurant has opened within the iconic Manchester Corn Exchange which nestles between the Manchester Cathedral and listed Tudor pub Sinclairs Oyster Bar. I’m so pleased that this incredible listed Edwardian building, previously used as a trading hub within the powerhouse of the North that it Manchester, is being revived and will be filled with people once more. There’s loads of placed opening where you can go for somewhere to eat, outside of the crazy hubub of the Northern Quarter.

Anyway, back to Pho.

The decor was industrial, with touches of street-style. Filament bulbs, neon signs and simple wooden topped tables and benches,with the odd graffiti art on the walls and exposed pipework- an idea setting for a street food restaurant! We were seated on a long bench and the menu was explained to us by a lovely waitress. Every table is set with a variety of chillli sauces (proceed with caution), Hoisin Sauce and soy.

neon sign "Pho"

Table setting

I ordered;

Starters

Cánh gà – Seasoned, crispy chicken wings served with srirachia &a portion of Prawn Crackers to share.

Verdict : Delicious! I love crispy chicken, and this didn’t disappoint. however it was served with the same sauce that is on the table – a little more inventiveness wouldn’t have gone amiss.

crispy chicken wings at Pho

Mains

Phở đặc biệt – Tiger prawns, tofu & flash fried steak with garlic in beef stock (or some variant of this, as the menus vary from sites!)

my husband's dish - I can't remember what he had!!!
my husband’s dish – I can’t remember what he had!!!

Phở đặc biệt - Tiger prawns, tofu & flash fried steak with garlic in beef stock

Verdict : This was served with a plate of herbs and spices and chilis that I could add at my leisure. I chucked in some mint and chilli, and some of the other herbs. This was a nice touch, as the broth of this dish can be a bit flat. You slurp this with a large wooden laden and chopsticks. I didn’t find this difficult at all, and actually quite fun! There could have been more beef for my taste, and the sauce really lacked seasoning (even with my added herbs!) Fun to eat, though, and tasty nonetheless.

We also ordered a good few sides to sample;

The morning glory went down really well, and was absolutely delicious! I love spinach anyway, and the dressing was divine.

Coffee & Tea

We ordered vietnamese coffee (Cà phê) out of curiosity, as it was served with delicious condensed milk! Actually quite a delicious Pick Me Up!

I also had a lemongrass and Ginger infused tea – a perfect digestif!

Service

Couldn’t really fault it. We were served in a timely manner, and when I asked for extra care to be taken with regards to my peanut allergy, the staff were accommodating and conscientious. I ate happy and safely! We were offered drink refills regularly (fantastic Vietnamese beer by the way!) and the staff were happy to talk through the menu and dishes when asked.

Bia Saigon at Pho

Overall, I had a great time at Pho, and would go again to try different dishes and stick with some favourites! Thank you for having me, Pho!

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10 thoughts on “What the Pho?

  1. Pingback: Manchester Restaurant Launches of 2015 | Thrifty Blogger

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