Pho Soho

I’ve started writing for another online site, which I’m a massive fan of. Let me introduce to you the dandyesque The Arbuturian, a bon vivant lifestyle magazine edited by the inimitable Jonesy. Read his tweets and you understand what I mean. Over a refreshing Tommy’s Margarita at the QV Club, this fine gentleman asked if I wanted to contribute to The Arbuturian. As we were going for dinner anyway my answer was in the affirmative. Here’s what happened at Pho.

Wardour Street, a one-way path of highs and lows. Tourists clog up the road in search of the authentic London, smart media folk rush past with Blackberry in hand, and the Ann Summers clientele are abundant.

In the midst of this colourful chaos there’s Pho, a Vietnamese restaurant serving street food at its best. The first Pho restaurant was opened in 2005 by the enthusiastic couple, Steve and Juliette Wall, who were so inspired by the national Vietnamese dish “pho”, that they felt the need to bring it to London. By now, it’s no longer a newcomer, but an expanding chain that has four successful restaurants scattered across London. The Wardour Street branch is the latest.

Pho is a simple noodle soup dish and can be served in so many ways that yours truly was quite overwhelmed by the extensive menu. Luckily, for the indecisive, the staff are happy to share their favourites, and this certainly saved 20 minutes of dillydallying between the pork and lemongrass meatballs or the summer rolls – in the end I went for both anyway.

Like so many other Soho restaurants, Polpo being the forefather here, Pho has a no-reservation policy. This you can argue is good; anyone can get a taste of the Pho Bo Vien and you don’t have to be royalty (alas, so few of us are) to grab a table. On the other hand, if you’re like me and don’t like queuing, you’ll find this policy an inconvenience. Princess behaviour aside, Pho is rather great.

Read the rest of this review over at Arbuturian, and don’t forget to peruse Jonesy’s phenomenal write-up of The Four Season’s new restaurant Amaranto. Don’t you wish you were Pumpkin?


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