I don’t think I ate phở the whole time I lived in Vietnam (two and a half years, for the record), but I am constantly on the lookout for it now. I’ve made my own before, but when a restaurant named Phở opened in Manchester (just a couple of weeks after I moved away last summer – what a cheek!), I was eager to pay a visit. It’s located in the newly renovated Corn Exchange, which also houses at least one other vegan-friendly establishment, Mowgli. The menu has plenty of vegetarian options, and the waiter told me that they were all vegan as long as I specified that I didn’t want any fish sauce.
What to have? Well, there were some inviting looking spring rolls, but of course I had to go for the button mushroom and tofu phở. And it was good! The broth was really flavoursome, and it was full of good herbs, mushrooms, noodles and fried tofu. I loved it, and was really full afterwards, so I’m glad I didn’t get any starters.
While the food was delicious, I felt it was ridiculously expensive. There’s a reason this is the national dish in a poor country. I’ve made it myself in Manchester and know that even the more exotic ingredients can be bought pretty cheaply. Even though it’s a meal in itself, I feel that £7.95 is a lot for a bowl of soup.
None of this will stop me from going back, of course. Phở is just so good!