Pho St Paul’s: Go Go Pho! (May 2015)

Mini-chain Pho is now a decade old, but despite its relative maturity and the expansion in the number of outlets, its winning formula remains undiminished. A recent weekday lunchtime resulted in a visit to their St Paul’s outpost, located in the uncheerily futuristic New Change building. This Pho is larger than many, but what it lacks in terms of intimacy, it gains in terms of buzz. Despite the place being almost full, the service was efficient and friendly. What matters most here, of course, is the food and Pho has been a pioneer in bringing Vietnamese food to a more mass-market level of awareness in the UK. Each of the dishes we shared (two starters, one salad and one main) comprised an explosion of colours and flavours. In general terms, the food is light and refreshingly piquant with my palate left tingling pleasantly after each. Pricing is also very reasonable, with the whole experience (plus soft drinks and service) costing us less than £40. Keep up the winning formula!