Sunday, 22 July 2018

Pho & Bun // Review

It's hard to find real authentic Vietnamese food however I think I know I have found the perfect place that provides not only mouth-watering food, but that's affordable too. Located in Shaftesbury Avenue, Pho & Bun is walking distance from many West End Theatres and is amongst other popular places such as Soho and ChinaTown.

I was kindly invited to try out their 3-course set menu, this included; two starters, a main, one dessert and a drink. As soon as I stepped into the restaurant, I could immediately smell such beautiful food that the chefs were cooking, and I couldn't wait to see what was on the menu. The restaurant had both an upstairs and downstairs, and we were seated downstairs near the bar. The upstairs seemed pretty chilled and more of a lunchtime spot, however, the downstairs felt a lot more private which was perfect for dates or with a group of friends. I found the restaurant was a lot smaller than I had imagined but this gave it a much more intimate feel.

The downstairs had a bar meaning you can get your service right away as most restaurants base their bars upstairs, once seated we were introduced to the manager, Andy. He provided us with the set menu. Set menus can be hard to pull off, but I was drawn to each dish and found it hard to make a decision.

Firstly, before we picked our food we went straight to the drinks, as it was a beautiful sunny day, I chose to have the home-made lemonade, and I could not fault this one bit. It was a simple lemonade drink and I enjoyed it that much I ordered another one straight after.

I had the choice to pick two starters, I was excited as there was too much choice and would've struggled to pick one. The manager recommended the squid, and I was curious to try this out. Along with the squid, I had picked the honey glazed ribs, and Harry had chosen sticky honey wings.

The starters came in a small dish, and my mouth was salivating. The squid isn't everyone's favourite, but I loved it. It was soft yet crispy and perfectly cooked too, this came with a lemon which enhanced the flavour. The ribs were also outstanding, they were succulent and tender, this was very different from the American style of ribs, but I could not fault this dish whatsoever.

Harry had the squid too and chose the honey glazed wings, he said that out of everything this was his favourite dish. The chicken wing was a great portion size with a hint of spice, they do not exaggerate the honey glaze to which you can really taste this. The chicken had a crispy tasty skin and was also very juicy.

When it came to the main dish, I was torn between several dishes as they all sounded phenomenal, in the end, I got the Crispy Tiger Prawn Bao burger. With it being Vietnamese style, the bao burger was a steamed bun, and this was so soft and airy.  The burger was full of refreshing flavours, though I was sceptical at first with pineapple being in the burger along with pickles and wasabi mayonnaise, the combination of these worked perfectly together.

Harry had the honey glazed pork belly vermicelli he said this was a good portion size with a fantastic balance of meat, noodles and salad along with the flavour too. The dish was very filling and was the perfect amount, the pork was tender and lean. We shared sweet potato chips with a dip of chilli mayonnaise, and though I am not a huge fan of sweet potato chips, they were probably one of the best  I have had in a long time.

Towards the dessert I was feeling pleasantly full however as always I was ready for it. I decided to go for the frozen yoghurt, I have never had frozen yoghurt before, and you can definitely tell the difference between that and ice cream. Though I found it different, there was syrup mixed into this, and I feel this had complimented the frozen yoghurt and worked well together. Harry had a caramel flan, again, I have never had this before, and I was astonished at how delicious this was and enjoyed this more than my dessert.

For a restaurant that does a three-course set menu for £23.95, I was exceptionally pleased, you would not usually find this in the centre of London. It's a small restaurant filled with regulars along with superb staff who regularly checked we're okay and asking if we have had enough food/drinks. The food was incredible and had a real authentic feel. I went with an open mind, and this had made me want to try new food more. I would give this a solid 8/10.

*I was kindly invited to eat at Pho & Bun however all views are my own and I would definitely come back as a paying customer.


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