Pho (pronounced fuh) is essentially a vietnamese noodle soup. I’d heard that the Pho served up at I am Pho was amazing so was really keen to give it a try. I’d had a banh mi (a vietnamese sandwich) from there before as a take out lunch, but had never been for a sit down meal. It’s simply furnished and canteen style, but is a pleasant space that’s quite light considering that it’s on basement level.
We thought we’d try a couple of starters.
I have completely contrasting feelings about these two starters..
The beef jerky salad was one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten. It’s spicy, fresh with lime, crunchy with peanuts and chewy with the jerky. It’s full of fresh veg and herbs. It certainly beats some iceberg lettuce and a few sad pieces of tomato, that’s for sure.
I didn’t like the prawn rolls at all. The rice dough was gloopy and gelatinous and there was literally nothing else in the rolls except for three prawns, which meant the whole thing was very bland. A complete contrast to the vibrant and interesting salad.
But it”s really all about the Pho.
First, the portion size. My soup could have fed two people generously. I barely finished half of my bowl, which is fairly unheard of for me. I was sad to leave it, but seriously, the bowls are bucket sized.
You have have a variety of meats, but I chose a mix of beef – cooked and raw. The idea is that the thin slices of raw beef cook in the Pho stock and are really tender, which they were.
You get loads of condiments on the side, with which you can customise your Pho.
You get a plate of beansprouts, thai basil, beansprouts and fresh chilli.
They also make their own beef paste and hoi sin sauce, along with chilli oil and any number of other bits and pieces.
I’d definitely recommend a visit if you’re ever in the vicinity of Manchester’s china town and fancy something slightly different. It’s big, it’s filling, it’s cheap and more importantly, it’s delicious! I’m now a Pho fan!