Although my home cooking is now almost totally on track going gluten-free, it is always difficult and a bit nerve-wracking eating out. When my friend suggested we eat at Pho, a Vietnamese street food cafe in Soho, I scanned through their menu online and was impressed. Most, if not all, of their dishes are based around 100% rice noodles, making it a million times easier for me to find something sans gluten.
I arrived on time, to find my friend was going to be late. We were expecting another friend (the three of us went to primary school together), and I could bet good money that she would also be late (I was right), so I took the opportunity to get a table, relieved that I could ask the waitress a few questions about the menu without having to feel embarrassed. I know I shouldn’t feel embarrassed, as it’s a medical condition I can’t do anything about, but I just hate making a fuss of myself.
The waitress assured me that all the main dishes were gluten-free, apart from those with ginger soy sauce in them. Feeling happier, I ordered a homemade lemonade with vodka and mint (£4.00), and took my time deciding what to eat.
I settled on the Pho Xao Thit Ga (£7.95) – pan-fried flat rice noodles with chicken and prawn. It was delicious.
Yeah, this dish isn’t exactly suitable for peanut allergy sufferers. But it was flavoursome and fresh and not too heavy. I had room for dessert!
I asked the waitress to check if the banana fritters were gluten-free (they weren’t), so I picked the strawberry and basil sorbet (£3.75)
I was over excited to get stuck in, so I forgot to take a picture before I demolished it, but I’m sure you can imagine what two scoops would look like ;). According to the menu, it had at least 55% real fruit in it, and I suspect they added sugar because it was quite sweet. Since getting the Vitamix last year, we have made sorbet and ice-cream without any added sugar, so I think my tastes have grown accustomed to less sugar. But having said that, it was still delicious, although there could have been more basil in it.
Overall, it was a very pleasant dining experience. The interior of the restaurant is cosy and warm, and the serving staff are very helpful. Coeliacs can eat almost everything on the menu, and my bill came to just £15.70. There are 4 branches in London, and one in Brighton, so I would suggest you check out their website to find the most convenient one for you! Highly recommended!
163-165 Wardour Street, London, W1F 8WN