13 Aug Pho Street
Greenwich is full of quirky, cool independent businesses, ideal for browsing when your rehearsal finishes two hours early! One of my favourite home shops is Tailor & Forge, everything is so Instagram worthy in here and the team is super friendly. You might catch the odd celeb in here if you’re lucky! In my market wander I got drawn into The Fudge Patch by the promise of free samples. I’m not a massive fudge fan but you can’t turn down a freebie especially when it was freshly made twenty minutes earlier and is both vegan and gluten free (they claim it tastes better using ingredients like coconut, oat and almond milk). There are many flavours available, rum and raisin caught my eye, and they certainly are good salespeople with the free samples as there was a constant stream of customers heading towards the tills!
Most stalls start closing up around 6pm so I figured it was a good time to get some dinner. Having been around Greenwich a lot over the past few years when my quartet were Fellows at Trinity Laban, there are more than a few restaurants on my list to try out. One of them is Pho Street, down the side of the National Maritime Museum. I’ve walked past numerous times and it has always been busy which is a good sign! All the staff here wear bright green t-shirts saying ‘is it me you’re looking pho?’… I do love a good pun 😀
The menu is a comprehensive selection of Vietnamese dishes. These range from their namesake Pho (pronounced ‘fur’) to bahn mi baguettes, rice noodles salads and curries. On entering the restaurant you are given a table, then instructed to order and pay at the till. Here you are given a number to take back to your table and your waiter will bring your food to you. This system means service is usually very quick as you’re not waiting around at the end of the meal for the bill.
I picked the rare beef pho which arrived with the traditional side plate of herbs. There wasn’t a huge variety of greens – just coriander and mint, with some beansprouts, raw onions (I avoided these for the sake of my desk partner!) and chillies. I quite like it when they include basil, even Thai basil if possible. The soup is the star of any pho and this one certainly didn’t disappoint. It was deep in flavour, you can taste the different spices dancing around your tongue, very tasty. I couldn’t finish all the rice noodles, there were a ton! It’s a nice idea of them to offer rare or well done beef, you choose your preference when ordering. I like the rare one – it continues to cook in the hot broth, so it never gets over done or dry.
My friend had the chicken curry with white rice. It looked pretty on the plate which can often be tricky with curry. I feel like the style was more Japanese as it was not spicy at all. However she really enjoyed it so no worries there. If you’re wanting some chilli heat I wouldn’t go for this, the ‘bun hue’ noodle soups would be more suitable for you.
Both dishes were served quickly – pho is a simple assembly job once the stock has been made in advance. The curry and some of the other rice dishes also seem to be made prior to service and kept warm in batches buffet style. This is reassuring from a time point of view and it still had good flavour despite being on the counter. I personally would tend to go for the made to order dishes like the noodles, buns or Vietnamese bahn mi baguettes. Don’t let that put you off though, since they’re curries and stews they probably taste better after being left longer!
Drinks wise you’ve got all the usuals, as well as avocado milkshake and Vietnamese lemonade (not entirely sure what that entails!). They also do bubble tea which will be refreshing in the summer heat. You choose either a milky or fruity tea, plus any from a number of tropical sounding toppings.
I really enjoyed my dinner at Pho Street. Staff are super friendly and make sure you’ve got everything you need. The vibe is generally really positive and upbeat which comes through in the little details – the t-shirts, the cheery art and slogans on the walls, and even on the receipt where they’ve printed ‘Thank you, be happy and healthy’. Well thank YOU and yes yes I shall! Price, location and quality are on point too so this is definitely a must-try!
Total receipt (one person): £10.80
1x Green tea 2.00
1x Pho beef 8.80
Rating: 8/10 Right up my street