Sunday, 13 May 2012

A short review of Viet Pho - May 2012

I used to regularly drop in here when working on a show at the Palace Theatre. Straight out of stage door and over the road. You could see the cast, leave at the half (the 30 minute window of 'me' time imposed to make sure your actors are in place for beginner's call), neck a bowl of steaming noodle soup and be in your seat for curtain.

They've had a spruce up over the intervening years, but not much has changed. It's still a functional, clean little space with close set tables and an open kitchen at the back, rammed with families, friends and the occasional tourist (you are in sight of Shaftesbury Avenue after all).

Pretty good fried bits and bobs I recalled correctly, and they sell the full range of Pad Thai's and hot and cold noodle dishes. On a recent visit we wrapped piping hot, blistered and teeth-sticky Vietnamese spring rolls in lettuce leaves and slathered them in Sriracha sauce, cooling our palates with freshly made summer rolls of cooling prawn and mint. As a nod to my past memories, I went for a large bowl of chicken Tom Yam soup, a heady blend of ginger, tamarind and chilli that took a sledgehammer to my nascent cold. Cheap, comforting and very, very well done.

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