Last night I was very kindly invited to the soft opening of Pho in Sheffield’s Leopold Square (replacing Strada). For those who don’t know it, Pho is a family-run chain serving fresh, healthy Vietnamese street food. I first became obsessed with Vietnamese food in Berlin (and spent all my money in 1990 Vegan Living!) and haven’t found many good places in Sheffield who sell it. Until now!
The interior of Pho is really cool, with its muted colours, neon lighting and graffiti-style artwork. Behind our table sat a huge vat of vegetable broth, simmering gently. The smell was amazing, so aromatic and fresh. It’s this broth which forms the base of each soup.
As soon as we sat down, a waitress came over to take our drinks order (some very generous glasses of house wine!) and brought over some vegan prawn crackers with sweet chilli sauce. We got through four portions of these between five of us, they were so moreish.
Pho has a new vegan menu, which is huge. The majority of items are also gluten-free, and they even serve mains with carb-free cauliflower rice. To start I chose to share the spring rolls and Vietnamese pancake. The rolls came with lettuce and mint to wrap them in before dipping them in the peanut sauce. Honestly, I could eat the peanut sauce with a spoon – it was divine. The Vietnamese pancake, with THIS isn’t Chicken, was something I have never come across before. This was a crispy pancake bursting with beansprouts and the aforementioned vegan chicken. Cutting slices of the pancake and wrapping them in the rice paper was fun and delicious.
For my main course, I chose the 3 mushroom Pho. This came accompanied with a side plate of lime, chilli, beansprouts and various herbs including Thai basil, sawtooth and mint. The waitress explained that the bowl that comes out from the kitchen is very much just the base – diners are encouraged to customise their pho with the extra ingredients available, just as people do in Vietnam. The portions are huge, and for £9.25 I was absolutely stuffed.
I also tried the ‘THIS isn’t Chicken & veg’ rice bowl, which was beautifully seasoned. The tofu curry was also amazing, and definitely what I’ll be ordering next time. I liked that all the dishes were customisable with sriracha, garlic vinegar, fish sauce or chilli and garlic paste – as someone who can’t tolerate much spice, it’s nice nothing comes out of the kitchen too strong.
Overall, I had an amazing evening with some delicious, fresh food. All the waiting staff were so friendly and even the very short wait for our mains was apologised for. I felt very full after the meal, and the only thing I wish they’d had was coconut condensed milk for the Vietnamese coffee.
Pho Sheffield officially opens tomorrow, Friday 14th, and to celebrate they’re giving away free Pho until it runs out. I’d definitely recommend heading down to check it out. I’ll be visiting again very soon!
(This meal was gifted but all opinions are my own).