Taking its name from a traditional Vietnamese noodle dish, and the product of Stephen and Juliette Wall's trip to
Having enjoyed a previous evening meal on the Terraces (where the cocktails flowed and the lively atmosphere seemed to fit), we ventured into Pho on a Saturday lunchtime. The restaurant is not one to go to if you are trying to escape the bustle of the rest of the Westgate, as there is certainly a speed to proceedings. But the food was plentiful and the staff were welcoming, particularly to our young daughter who was treated to numerous high fives as she left at the end of our meal.
For the food itself we decided to share starters with chicken goi cuan (rice paper rolls) and pork cha giò (crispy spring rolls). The rice paper rolls had an odd texture to them that wasn't quite what we expected. My partner compared them, somewhat unfavourably, to jellyfish. But they had an agreeable taste and were particularly nice when accompanied with the peanut sauce. The spring rolls, on the other hand, are great. Satisfyingly crunchy and packed with filling, they are the best spring roll I've had, with a wonderful bulk to them.
We followed these starters with mains of chicken com tam rang and beef cà-ri, with wok-fried rice with egg from the children's menu. The portions at Pho are generous, with the meals freshly cooked and brought out piping hot. Our table had a good view of the kitchen and it was fascinating to watch people work. My com tam rang was a spicy treat, the kind of rice that needs to be eaten in large quantities. A nice mix of ingredients, it is delicious and warming. The cà-ri was less successful, with the beef taste being somewhat of a surprise. There was lots of veg to the meal and it felt healthy but could have done with more seasoning. The wok-fried rice was a suitable meal for a child, but could have done with more vegetables, speaking from my daughter's preference.
This meal seemed to be one of two halves, with some choices more successful then others. Where the cha giò and com tam rang were delicious hits, the goi cuan and cà-ri were merely okay. And while the staff were accommodating and super friendly to our daughter, it did seem to take longer then expected to choose our meals and for them to reach us. Still, Pho has a huge menu and I feel eager to go back and keep exploring it, to the find the perfect meals for my partner and me.