Monday 30 September 2019

Pho Restaurant - A Vietnamese Dream

Eating out is one of those treats that I adore, even more so when it's with family. When it comes to food I think being adventurous is the best way to be with the exception of bugs and crickets which I have tried and will not be eating again. There is so much culture when it comes to food that it would be boring if we all ate the same bland food all the time rather than experimenting and it's something we both feel really passionate about when it comes to Joshua too. 

Our little guy is so good with eating because we try him with everything and if he doesn't go much on it the first time you can bet five minutes later he'll have another go and eat it all up. We headed to Pho which has just opened in Gunwharf Quays recently which is a Vietnamese restaurant with the most delicious food. The family run restaurant first opened its doors in 2005 after owners, Stephen and Juliette travelled through Vietnam and fell in love with the food. 

They serve healthy Vietnamese street food which is all cooked daily in their kitchens. There is a huge range of gluten free dishes accredited by Coeliac UK as well as many choices for those with dairy and egg allergies. The majority of the dishes can be made vegan too so it's pretty much the perfect place to go. 

I just need them to open a site in Southampton next! 

We arrived at Pho with a queue out the door which was promising. It went down quickly as people were seated and soon it was our turn. We headed to Pho at 1pm on a busy Saturday so our time there could've gone one of two ways, thankfully it was brilliant from start to finish and Dale looked after us so well. We were seated with menus quickly and ordered cocktails. The Phojitos were a take on the classic mojito while the Gin Spritz came out on top as the tables favourite. It's made with Tanqueray, fresh mint, cucumber, lime & soda and was the most refreshing cocktail I've had in yonks. 

The most difficult part of our time there was choosing what to eat. Dale talked through the menu when it came to ordering for Joshua and with dairy in barely anything it was such a relaxing experience knowing he could eat almost everything. We ordered the Chicken Ca-Ri for him which was Vietnamese curry with chicken, veggies & mushrooms, served with steamed rice to come out with our starters and he loved it! Especially as he was able to dip his prawn crackers into the sauce. 

To start, we ordered a bit of everything so we could all try as much as possible. Mực chiên giòn is tender fried baby squid with a salt, pepper & lime dip, the portion size was generous and they were really flavoursome. The favourite for all was the Nem nướng, homemade pork & lemongrass meatballs with lettuce & herbs to wrap served with a peanut dipping sauce. 

I would've quite happily just eaten a plate of those with my own pot of peanut dipping sauce. I'd go back again just to have the Nem nướng. They were that good.

We also ordered Gỏi cuốn, fresh rice paper summer rolls with herbs, vermicelli & pickle as well as Cánh gà, seasoned crispy chicken wings served with sriracha. All the starters looked as good as they tasted and would make a great meal on their own too. The idea of their starters is to dip, roll and share and that is my kinda meal!

For mains, we all tried something a little different. I kinda played it safe with the Ca-Ri Chicken which was the same as what Joshua had but the main portion and it really was delicious and full of flavour although I definitely had my eyes on what Arran ordered. He chose the Bun Beef, which was vermicelli rice noodles with a lemongrass and chilli wok-fried topping, served with beef. Not only did it look good but it tasted bloody fabulous because I made him give me some to try. 

It was served in a large bowl and bursting with flavour with the beef especially being rather tasty. I would definitely order what he had when we visit again. 

Emily ordered the Phở gà, chicken breast in chicken broth while Mum tried the Cơm Tấm rice bowl loaded with vegetables, herbs and served with pork, beef and chicken. Both the dishes looked yummy but also never ending. The portions are huge, you get so much for your money as the prices are really reasonable so make sure you go there with an empty stomach!

Somehow... we couldn't resist looking at the dessert menu. Mainly because Dale convinced us we had to and that we couldn't leave without trying the pandan waffles. Who am I to refuse a smiley face and waffles? 

While waiting for desserts, Mum and I ordered Vietnamese coffee to try. Cà phê is rich coffee from Caphe VN served black or with condensed milk. We both ordered ours with condensed milk and oh my is it sweet. 

Delicious but very sweet. 

For desserts we ordered Chuối chiên which is a banana fritter for Joshua, Bánh kẹp lá dứa the freshly cooked pandan waffle served with ice cream, Chocolate Truffle slab with green tea ice cream and the Bánh phô mai chanh passionfruit cheesecake. 

For me, the desserts weren't mind blowing, they were just nice, nothing really special but everything else made up for it. I think when we go again we'd leave the desserts completely and just stick with starters and mains. I did notice on the menu that the desserts or at least some of them are the only thing not made on site so maybe that had something to do with it.

We honestly had such a brilliant time at Pho and have zero complaints. The service was good throughout our time there, everyone was friendly and so on the ball which was great to see because they did not stop. It was busy from the minute we got there to the time we left. 

I think Pho is such a great addition to Gunwharf Quays and it's so good see some other places opening up rather than the usual chains you tend to get everywhere. It's a brilliant location and with plenty of outside seating, it would be gorgeous in the sunshine. I would really love to see them open in Southampton one day, I can't seem to think of anything like that here already. 

If you're looking for something a little different, then add Pho to your list because you won't regret it, fab food, brilliant service, reasonable prices, what more could you want?

Complimentary meal for the purpose of review - see disclaimer.
Blogger Template by pipdig