totally agreed. offer the best pho any where in London. It is very close to the authentic. however ever, my dad pho at home is a touch better
A/34 Greek Street, London W1D 5DJ
- Tottenham Court Road Tube Station (0.2 km)
- Leicester Square Tube Station (0.4 km)
- Contact us:
020 7494 9888
The Balcony Westfield Shopping Centre, Stratford, London E20 1ES
“Pho opened in Clerkenwell in June 2005 as London's first Vietnamese street food restaurant. We're small, informal and serve great value, deliciously healthy and authentically prepared Vietnamese food. At Pho we keep it simple. The short menu means...” more...
11 reviews of Viet Pho in English
I have been going to this restaurant for 5 years. In fact, the first time I went there, was on a first date with my current partner, so we have always held it in high regards, and have met up with many friends there. The place was simple, and had quite a lot of charm. Better still, the food was awesome, with service to match. But something quite awful has happened. They refitted the restaurant, and how it resembles like a bad Pret-A-Manger. It has no character at all. Worst still, the food just isn’t the same. The food used to be simple and delicious. Now it is all but tasteless. I used to have the Phad Tai Prawn, Squid Rings, and Black Pepper Beef Udon. All tasteless. I think they must have a new chef, because the food isn’t the same at all. Also, the waiting staff have developed a ’couldn’t care less’ attitude, and just rang around ignoring customers, and we have found on several occasions that we have to put our hand up and wave to get their attention as they are aways chatting to each other.
Unfortunately, this place has changed for the worse. They have completely ruined it. After trying it several times after the refit – all of use came out with the same opinions. Unforunately, we don’t think we will be going back.
I have been rather unlucky with Vietnamese restaurants in Soho: I was not very convinced by the West End subsidiary of the the popular Hoxton Vietnamese Cay Tre and I was more than disappointed by the lack of authenticity at Pho in Soho.
I was told Viet was the place to go when craving cheap and authentic Vietnamese in Soho,and,even though I liked Viet better than both Cay Tre and Pho (and it is without doubt the cheapest and most authentic of them three),I would not exactly rush back.
Viet is situated on Greek Street,very close to Curzon Soho. I give you this piece of information as it is so inconspicous that I walked up and down Greek Street trying to find it and passed it several times without noticing it. (NB:I was not drunk at this occasion).
It is super basic and consequently very cheap. You pay something around 2-4 pounds for most of the starters and 6-8 pounds for the mains. Alcohol is not served but for a small corkage charge you may bring your own booze.
The waiters couldn’t care less. If you have managed to attract their attention,they are nice enough,but in general they are not exactly the epitome of efficiency and good customer service.
But now to the food:The Vietnamese summer rollswere lovely filled with succulent prawns,fresh salad and herbs as well as bouncy rice noodles. Since I have learned how to do Bo la lot –minced beef wraped in betel leaves – at Leluu’s Vietnamese Cooking Course,I have very high standards for this Vietnamese favourite. I found the Viet version to be nothing more than ok. While the aromatic and peppery flavours of the betel leaves were beautiful,the beef filling was under-seasoned and cried for some more fish sauce and lemongrass.
Unfortunately also the two mains were predominantly characterised by their blandness. Bun cha (cold vermicelli noodles topped with chicken,bean sprouts,cucumber and herbs) would have been amazing if the massive amount of tasteless green salad would have been replaced by fragrant Vietnamese mint. Also the ginger and lemongrass chicken was stingy on flavour and was nothing to write home.
There was nothing wrong as such with either of the dishes,but of all them would have needed just this little bit more (herbs? flavours? seasoning?) to convince me. I would go back if I craved Vietnamese and was restricted to the Soho location. Less than 15 pounds a head for a quick and reasonable meal is not bad at all. However,there is just no escaping the fact that for good Vietnamese,you have to go East.
I’m Vietnamese and have tried pretty much all the Vietnamese restaurants in London in search of a pho that is close to what you can get in Vietnam. So far, this restaurant wins for the best pho. The broth (most important) is close to perfect, the beef is tender and the noodles have the right springy consistency. Only missing is the authentic Vietnamese herbs (mint, basil, and the long green herb that I can’t remember the name of).
Comment 1 comment on this review
buidoiuk007, 28 November 2011:
For photo see Greedy Diva @ http://greedydiva.blogspot.com/2010/09/viet-soho.html
Amid the chaotic clatter and chatter, waiters bump into tables and diners feast elbow to elbow on big bowls of steaming beef pho, fragrant noodles and colourful prawn salads. Best of all, it's BYO (including beer). Viet is not somewhere to go for a quiet meal.
It's been our favourite local Vietnamese for years. Admittedly, there's not much competition in Soho - or indeed, many places outside of East London. The small Pho chain has recently opened an outlet on Wardour St. But Viet is no polished operation. It's quick and dirty, cheap and cheerful, and feels like a little pocket of Kingsland Rd in Soho.
Soft summer rolls (goi cuon) come with prawns, herbs and salad almost bursting through the thin, translucent rice paper wrapping. Fried spring rolls are crisp, fresh and meaty. But best of all are the thin little parcels of juicy beef wrapped in betel leaf - a taste sensation.
Bun sa, cold vermicelli noodles with chicken cooked in lemongrass, with crispy lettuce, pickled vegetables, cucumber and mint were, on our last visit, somewhat lacking in flavour, and a little stingier on the chicken than usual. I have my suspicions that portion sizes are being sacrificed a little here to keep the costs so low. The noodles come with a side bowl of nuoc cham (fish sauce, zingy lime juice, garlic, chilli, sugar), essential for pouring over the mix.
Most people come for the pho, the comforting, spicy, noodley broth, which is slurped up hungrily, even as plates of starters and drinks arrive at their tables, apparently out of sinc. No one seems to mind. Extra fresh chilli and other bits are provided on request.
A personal favourite is the beef salad - slithers of beef with chilli, onion, lime, Vietnamese basil and smashed nuts. It's full of flavour, although the portion on my visit last week is (again) smaller than I remembered it.
Corkage is apparently charged on wine (about £3) but the bottle opener for our beers was unceremoniously plonked on our table last week and we drank without charge. This is one cheap night out. Starters are often around £2-4, and the average price for larger dishes is around £6-8.
Service is sometimes erratic, but never bad on my visits (I'm not expecting Michelin star service here), and the young guy who coordinates it all is smiling and helpful. He doesn't miss much when it comes to pointing out who needs what and when.
Viet's popularity means there are often queues on Friday and Saturday nights (some resort to cracking open their beers in the line), and you can't reserve ahead. So get there early, and tuck in.
Comment 1 comment on this review
SOHO_QT, 21 October 2010:
Sorry about the stingy portions, but the prices of the ingredients have increased by a strenuous amount.
As for the "dirty" comment. Don't worry the owner is very anal about cleanliness. Hahaha!
Thanks for the review though, see you next time! =D
A very good Vietnamese restaurant near Leicester Square. It could remain unseen for everybody goes to Chinatown to have dinner. Yet its reputation is now solid.
The foot is great here, and prices have not raised since 5 years! The average price for a dish is around £6. The boss has changed but the cook remains. The set is quite basic: a few wooden tables, and noisy clients.
But have a look on your dish. Banh xeo (golden pancake with pork and shrimps) very generous, bun thit nuong (rice vermicelli with grilled pork): tasty!
You must take into account that Pho soup is their specialty. Thai dishes are not bad though: the chicken pad thai was nice also.
Great for a quick 20 minute lunch and very popular. Get there by 12.30 if you don't want to hang around for a seat. Food is excellent, reasonable prices (around the £6 to £7 mark for a main course) and friendly service. Go once and it'll soon become a regular.
Wonderful little place, although you may have to wait 10 min or so for a table Fri and Sat evening. Can seat about 30 ish people and is done on first come first served basis. Starters are about £2-4 and mains £4 - £6, not a fan of deserts so cant really comment. Food is fresh, tasty and is perfect for a tasty meal before night in town. Its BYO (bring your own), not sure if they charge for this. Well worth a visit next time your thinking what a poor selection of restaurants there are in China town (ok ok theres about 3 that are worth a look but the rest are best left to the tourists!)
would highly recommend Viet. Although it is small (so if you are on your own, you may well have a random at your table), and you may feel slightly rushed being there, the food is fast and always piping hot. The dishes are cheap enough to have a side and main dish (and possibly a drink that isn’t tap water, which they are always fine with) for under a tenner. The dishes are also great to share with friends. I recommend any of the dishes in soup or the pad thai varieties if you are new to vietnamese food. There is something really here for everyone here, whether you are a veggie or love any type of seafood.
This review is also on Trusted Places.
With hot food (and cold noodles!) prepared fast and fresh, Pho is a wonderful place to catch a quick lunch or a more relaxed dinner.
Busy and yet fast, this resteraunt does lovely noodle dishes but be warned - it is only noodle dishes. There are hot and cold spring rolls but for us low-carbers, there’s just rice noodles.
One thing I loved is that it is all rice noodles - no wheat in sight which is a lovely change.
I highly recommend this place for either lunch or dinner - YUM!
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