Not to be mistaken for popular chain Pho Café, Pho House is a quaint little Vietnamese restaurant just a few doors down from Highbury & Islington station. Boasting quirky décor, attentive staff and delicious, healthy food, it’s no wonder why it’s the perfect Londoner lunch spot.
A site previously hosted by much loved Korean restaurant Busan, Pho House has taken into its new location with pride, stripping away Busan’s minimalism and instead choosing to showcase more of an industrial feel with bare brick and tastefully graffiti-ridden walls.
Within minutes of arriving, me and my friend were quickly greeted with a friendly waiter and a huge menu. Like the restaurant’s name suggests, traditional Pho was on offer, as well as other popular dishes including summer rolls, Vietnamese chicken curry and even salads. With so much on offer, it was a real struggle to pick what we wanted. In the end we both decided to share some prawn summer rolls (around £4.50) for our starter, with Vietnamese special fried rice for me, and Pho chin for my friend.
Made from Vermicelli noodles wrapped with Vietnamese vegetables, herbs and prawns, the summer rolls were a refreshing starter. Despite there being only four rolls for us to share, each one was full to the brim! The accompanying nước chấm sauce added some much needed flavour (the rolls were a tad bland), but we were both very happy to have picked it!
I’m not going to lie, when my friend’s Pho arrived (featuring tender beef, rice noodles, vegetables, chillis and tofu) in a giant bowl of goodness, I had a serious case of food envy! That’s not to say that my special fried rice didn’t hit the spot. But it was clear why Pho was the restaurant’s name and its signature dish. A lover of spice, my friend loved the large amount of chillis, the tender beef melting in his mouth and having not tried tofu before, he was won over by how flavoursome it was.
The special fried rice filled me up quite quickly. Although a tad dry, it did have one thing which was surprisingly tasty – sausages, and was overall a whole-hearted, meaty dish. The accompanying salad was overshadowed, and pretty much not needed, but all in all, for around £9.85, it did the job!
Despite the major food envy (the next time I visit I’ll definitely be ordering a Pho), we both loved Pho House’s vibe, tasty food and fabulous service. My friend kindly paid for both of us (as a birthday treat for me), and for just over £20 including two drinks, you can’t go wrong!
Pho House is located on 39 Holloway Road, London, N7 8JP.
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