Family Friendly Pho! | Modern Mummy

Monday, 24 February 2014

Family Friendly Pho!

On Saturday, Ruth, Alice and I - and our tribe of little ladies! - were invited to Pho in Soho to review their new children's menu.

The Soho restaurant is one of seven in London, Brighton and Leeds and they sell freshly prepared Vietnamese street food. The chain is family run, informal, very affordable and deliciously healthy - pretty much everything I look for when taking my brood out for lunch or dinner.

The restaurants are named after the Vietnamese national dish; pho is an amazing, tasty (and nutritious!) noodle soup which is often referred to as the "soul of the nation", and after tasting it for the first time this weekend I can see why! They also sell other simple Vietnamese delicacies, teas and fresh juices and absolutely everything on the menu - even the stock in the pho - is made from scratch. 

Our table was reserved for 2pm, so a very busy time of day for a restaurant in the middle of London. We were seated straight away and talked through the new kids menu. My first thoughts were how authentic it was. Offering simple rice and noodle dishes in miniature (although still very generous) portions,  Daisy would have happily eaten anything on there! She opted for the mini chicken pho xao, or wok fried flat rice noodles with bean sprouts and mange tout.

In the meantime, us grown ups were treated to Vietnamese beer and some of the most amazing starters I have ever eaten. My favourites were the muc chien gion (tender fried baby squid, served with a salt, pepper and lime dip - oh my!), the nem hai san (large crispy spring roll of tiger prawn, crab and pork with a nuoc cham dipping sauce) and the goi cuon (summer rolls with either prawn, chicken or vegetables - I tried them all, oink).

Daisy was feeling adventurous and gave all of the starters a go too and the nem nuong (pork and lemongrass meatballs) were a huge success - with her AND Alice and Ruth's girls. (In actual fact we ended up ordering no less than five portions, all of which were demolished as soon as each plate arrived!)

While D tucked into her pho xao, my main of bun ga hue (hot and spicy chicken noodle soup) arrived. I don't know if the Saigon beer I'd drunk had made me go a bit funny but I swear that as I took my first spoonful, my shoulders relaxed and I did a really slow blink. It was/is THE tastiest soup I've ever had. I loved how you were served extra ingredients to spice it up to your taste and my measurements of additional coriander and chilli were obviously spot on as everyone round the table tried and loved it too.

After our main courses, Daisy and I shared the strawberry and basil sorbet. At first I thought that the kid's dessert menu was a bit limited - Daisy didn't actually want anything from it which is very unlike her. The ice cream options were the same as for grown ups (macupono coconut, honey and ginger or green tea flavours) and all us Mums said that it would probably be a good idea to introduce some more familiar flavours for the little ones. However we were all right royally shown up when the girls demolished the coconut and green tea flavours without hesitation and the strawberry and basil sorbet was a massive hit too.

I finished my meal with a cup of yulan tea which is one of my favourites and Daisy loved how pretty it was, although she didn't dare to try it!

I can honestly say we had THE BEST experience at Pho and I will, without a doubt, be returning there next time we're in the West End. The atmosphere was brilliant - everyone (fellow diners and staff) were happy and knowledgeable and laid back - and the music was amazing too. The food was divine (not just from a family point of view either - I'll place my bets on the hot and spicy chicken pho being an awesome hangover/cold cure!) and the little extras, like child friendly chopsticks and colouring, were a lovely touch.

Thank you, Pho, for a lovely meal and a lovely afternoon xoxo

We were given our meal free of charge in exchange for this honest review.



  1. I've been to Pho in Leeds but didn't realise they had a children's menu. A great way for them to be introduced to new tastes. May have to take the munchkins

  2. Gosh I love that picture of Daisy and Florence laughing! :-) x


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