Welcome to York, Pho! It’s taken 17 years for Pho to bring a branch of its small chain of Vietnamese kitchens to our fair city, but who’s counting? We’re just glad that they’ve finally opened the doors, fired up the playlist and are busy luring hungry Yorkies across the city with the promise of a warming bowl of noodles.
With some trepidation – our children aren’t known as adventurous eaters – we went along to try their new place on High Petergate and it was a surprise hit. The menu is two pages of temptation, with something for all weathers and moods. Although best known for its pho (noodle soup, the national dish of Vietnam), there are fragrant curries, fresh wok-fried rice bowls, and much more on offer. All very exciting for anyone who likes the world on their plate, but we couldn’t help wondering if we’d be making our children some toast once we got home.
It turns out that parents don’t know everything after all: the two youngest tucked into their kids’ noodle and rice dishes with enthusiasm, and the big one really enjoyed his pick of a veggie noodle dish from the adult menu. We grown-ups were impressed with our steaming bowls of veggie pho, and it was nice to be able to customise them with the beansprouts, lime and herbs on the side. The starters were great too, and it was a rare treat for us vegetarians to have prawn-less prawn crackers.
By the end of our meal, our kids – who are prone to request ‘just pasta with grated cheese, please’ – were taking turns to slurp the broth and twizzle the big flat rice noodles from my bowl (avoiding the veg, admittedly). Next time we might just order them a pho of their own. As for the puddings, the children haven’t stopped talking about their green pandan (not panda!) waffles since. There are lots of vegan and veggie options, and the kids’ menu is good value at £5.95 for a meal and a drink.
We really enjoyed the whole Pho experience: portions are generous, the flavours are fresh, it’s a nice relaxed environment and the service was really lovely. And it’s always fun to see who can pick up anything with their chopsticks too! Metal cutlery is, thankfully, available…
Pho, 75 Low Petergate, York, YO1 7HY