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Delicious Pho

  • Restaurants
  • Spitalfields
  • 3 out of 5 stars
  1. Vietnamese food  (Photograph: Delicious Pho )
    Photograph: Delicious Pho
  2. Bubble tea and desserts (Photograph: Delicious Pho )
    Photograph: Delicious Pho
  3. Prawn summer rolls (Photograph: Delicious Pho )
    Photograph: Delicious Pho
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Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

It’s not like London is short on choice when it comes to Vietnamese food. But there’s something so soul-warming about good pho, it’s easy enough to want to try every offering. Why else would I be halfway through the cluster of restaurants on Kingsland Road?

Not far away from there, in Spitalfields, you’ll find Delicious Pho. The Southern Vietnamese fast-food chain took off in Canada, where founder Chau Tran owns 12 branches. It’s arrived to make its mark in the UK, and boy, it’s not holding back. The space is huge. It’s wide, long and even has a downstairs. The endless number of tables seemed even more endless thanks to the fact that, even for a Wednesday evening, it was extremely quiet. 

All in a jarring bright yellow, the decor feels childish and fresh, with bright graphics painted on the walls and cheap fake plants straddling the ceiling. Cheesy pop remixes blast through the ceiling to match. This place isn’t trying to be fancy: it’s somewhere you’d go to grab a bubble tea and gossip with your best friend about *that love interest*, somewhere to slurp on noodles without any pretence. 

The menu has more than 18 Pho options – including chicken, prawn, tofu, flank, tripe and seafood – all created with deep, hearty, homemade broths. The restaurant also serves curry, rice, starters, other noodle dishes and a hell of a lot bubble tea. It’s basically a one-stop shop for any Vietnamese food cravings.

In what felt like no time at all, a steaming bowl of sweet, sour and citrus smells arrived at my table

To start, my pal and I grabbed a sharing platter. This was disappointing: the spring rolls were tough, dry and crumbly. The tofu summer rolls and the slithery mango salad drenched in sweet chilli, were both fine, but very average. If I came back, I’d skip the starters to make room for the cauldron-sized bowl of pho that was coming next (I guess this place got its name for a reason).

After a rundown of the menu from our very knowledgeable waiter – and much hemming and hawing over my order like it was a life-changing decision – I went for the tiger prawn pho with a tom yum broth. In what felt like no time at all, a steaming bowl of sweet, sour and citrus smells arrived at my table. The broth was delicious: light but complex with fruity undertones, each ladleful felt like it was healing another, then another, of my sins. A side of mint, bean sprouts, chilli, coriander and lime added a fresh kick, while a generous helping of large, meaty prawns lurked beneath the noodles to add a satisfying bite.  

The dry pho with tofu, similar to a pad thai, was a huge helping of rice noodles covered in a sharp, nutty, tamarind sauce. This was tasty, but needed some lime or more herbs to help cut through the mostly monotonous flavour.  

When it came to sweet, I decided to give my tastebuds a workout and embrace the unfamiliar territory of traditional Vietnamese desserts. The restaurant offers a selection of chè, a pudding made from tapioca, jelly, fruit and coconut milk. I ordered the Fruit Lover: a technicolour glass filled with jackfruit, jelly jewels, longan, lychee, creamy coconut and God knows what else. Topped with shattered ice, it was a cold, malty bomb of sugar, with every other spoonful tasting like the canned tropical fruit salad that my granny used to feed me. Admittedly, there were a lot of textures going on, some familiar, some less so. Still though, I didn’t dislike it. 

Without a doubt, Delicious Pho does what it says on the tin. The pho is delicious. The rest of the food is not bad. But when we walked out of the restaurant’s sanitised brightness and on to the wet pavements of Spitalfields, I felt like I was walking out of the cinema and entering the real world again. That’s because there was actually an atmosphere outside.

Maybe once people catch a whiff of this place (its proximity to Liverpool Street station makes its location pretty ideal), and more of its tables fill up, the vibe will sort itself out. But for now, it’s somewhere you’d go to fill your belly and boost. 

The vibe Colourful, quick food in a laidback diner setting. 

The food Steaming, fragrant pho that will rid all wrongs in the world.  

The drink Bubble teas galore, Vietnamese bottled beer and fresh smoothies. 

Time Out tip The menu is slightly overwhelming, but the staff know their stuff. Talk to them. 

Written by
Chiara Wilkinson

Details

Address:
3-6 Steward St
London
E1 6FQ
Opening hours:
Mon-Sun, 11am-9pm
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