Visited Pho Oxford recently with my niece to meet up with a few girlfriends over lunch. Friends chose the venue and I hadn’t been before. When we first walked in, I must admit I thought it was a bit grundgy but I was just being a snob. The restaurant serves up tasty, honest Vietnamese, Asian, vegan and vegetarian friendly food.
My food was delicious. For a starter I had Mực chiên giòn -Tender fried baby squid with a salt, pepper & lime dip (loved this dip- I want it on everything) and a generous portion that was shared amongst the three of us. I don’t normally order fried squid in chains because they always tend to be devastatingly overcooked, greasy, soggy and tough. This was pleasingly crisp and tender.
One friend had for her main, the Pho xao , a wok fried flat noodle served with greens, protein and a choice of toppings – tender beef, chicken, prawn and chicken or tofu and mushroom. All are topped with roasted peanuts and fresh bean shoots. She was disappointed with it. Her comment – it tasted bland and lacked any flavour. I offered some of my salt, pepper & lime dip which injected a bit of flavour into it. That seemed to make it more acceptable for her and she didn’t end up sending it back.
For Mains my niece and I had the Cà-ri , a Rich, fragrant Vietnamese curry with veggies & mushrooms, topped with nuts & served with broken rice. Again nicely cooked and a perfect balance of flavours. A very satisfying lunch and reasonably priced too.