We popped down to the St Paul’s Pho restaurant a few nights ago, as we saw they had an Xmas menu and thought it would be nice to see their take on a festive menu as we have always loved their food so much. it is a lot bigger than the one we usually go to by Spitalfields market but we liked how spacious it was.
Crackers come to start the meal with , served with 2 choices of dipping sauce, their sweet chilli sauce which was nice but their peanut sauce, well, all I can say it this was a sauce kept very close to my side for the entire night, the chilli crackers we superb drenched in this decadently rich, thick peanut based sauce and I knew that we were in for a night of yummy tidings.
To start with of course, we had to order their iconic Chả giò, perfectly crispy spring rolls with fresh lettuce to wrap them in with the most decadent peanut sauce again! I love this started because the juxtaposition between the deep fried spring rolls and the fresh lettuce and herbs really balanced it out and makes it a little less of a guilty pleasure for me.
We also opted for the Gỏi ngó sen which is tangy lotus stems with green beans and some sesame seeds for crunch. At this point I would like to apologise to the waitress who had to bare witness to us both attempted to be gentle and sophisticated with chopsticks. This was such a great dish, it was such a work out for the palate with the different textures, particularly the lotus stems for me which I thought were very nice an the sweet and sour combination was a great start to a meal too.
Drinks wise, we had some water as we usually like to have water on the table especially when comes to ordering spicy food. I followed that up with a very tasty spicy lemonade, my regular readers know how I Feel about homemade lemons but upgraded with the ginger and mint it was a new face for me I have to say. Of course, Pooh Bear wanted something a little stronger and so he tried the lemon and basil martini made with a rice spirit -Nếp Phú Lộc, homemade lemonade and muddled basil, I think it would be fair to say that it packed a pretty big punch!!
Bún chay Huế was on the table for one of the mains and this hot and spicy noodle dish with generous amounts of tofu and curry. The level of spice was perfect, just enough to get the nose running but reserve enough that each mouthful was feeding the fire a little more on the tongue. This dish comes with fresh herbs, bean shoots, chilli and lime on the side to customise it how you would like it. I love this hands on approach to the meal as it means you can add as much as you like and really tailor it to your taste buds, we added the coriander, lime and chilli and it was perfect for us. This is such a warming and wholesome dish and surprisingly filling too.
Now, when I say I loved the Cà-ri, I mean, I adored it, I absolutely could not have been any tastier, Iate it until I could not eat anymore and I still didn’t want to stop. This ambrosial Vietnamese curry with tofu and mushrooms, as well as tomatoes and courgettes, this peanut and coconut based curry was absolutely divine. Completed with nuts and served with perfectly cooked rice, this is the dish I would recommend that everyone tries vegan or not it was outstanding.
We were way too full to order a dessert each so instead went for the Chuối chiên to share which is their banana fritter which we had with strawberry and basil sorbet and it was garnished with fresh mint, which all worked very well together actually. The banana fritters are the ultimate treat as the bananas of course showcase their own natural sweetness, coated in batter and then dusted with sugar which made them so sweet and delicious and paired with the strawberry and basil sorbet it was such great flavour combinations that it was a very content end to a meal.
Of course, I couldn’t end the evening their though, not once I had been told there was Vietnamese coffee available and I have never tried it before so definitely wanted to try it out. It was very nice, not as strong as I would have thought been but I didn’t mind too much as I ordered it black. It was a very nice end to an amazing meal and we will be back very soon. As this Xmas set menu is only £14.50 for 2 courses or £18.50 for 3 courses it is the perfect place for date night or an affordable treat with your mates midweek.