We are nearly at the end of the first month of the year and by now I can imagine there are unwanted exercise bikes, barely worn trainers and nearly-new Lycra gracing many wardrobes, garages and spare rooms across the country. The beginning of the year seems to herald in a whole hoard of marketing campaigns about ‘new year, new you’. Whilst I hold decent dose of skepticism, the idea of reinvention and self improvement are things we all strive for. One big part of my life that I will always look at trying to improve is to eat more healthily. And it’s a new year, so why not start now?
Our friends at Pho restaurant read my mind because they knew that I was like many other people and that one of my resolutions, as mentioned, was to eat more healthily. If Pho can get anymore healthy?
Well apparently they can.
We were invited down to sample some of their healthy options which are running as the Healthy Specials through January and possibly into February too. I was fascinated to see how they had put a healthy spin on to some of their dishes, because if the large amount of fresh herbs and ingredients that you get with a normal bowl of Pho isn’t enough, then they’ve managed to really slim down the calories.
Our menu tonight (find it online here):
Spicy Salad Rolls and Enoki Hand Roll – £4.95
Courgetti Pho (Pho Ga) – £9.95
Boodle Pho Chin – £10.95
Bánh sô-cô-la truffle – £6.95
Red Wine – Malbec, Bellefontaine, France – £7.50
Fresh Mint Tea – £1.95
We kicked off our meal with some Spicy Salad Rolls to share and Enoki Hand Roll – for us we loved the presentation of the Enoki rolls with the rice paper and brimming with hearty veg and of course, Enoki. These flavourful little funghi look like something from a Sci-Fi film, the Chinese call them Golden Needle Mushrooms. Looks aside, they worked really well in their little parcels.
For the mains we went for healthy versions of our favourites. I love Pho Ga which is a chicken broth with noodles. Their healthy spin was to replace the noodles with Courgetti! These courgette noodles completely absorb the flavour of the chicken, given that courgette isn’t the strongest of taste.
Tori being a red meat fan went for the Boodle Pho Chin (tender beef brisket in beef broth with butternut squash noodles) which she enjoyed – for her the butternut squash noodles had a delicate flavour that married really well with the beefy broth and the brisket too.
Although I most probably should have matched my wine with my food, it was no less enjoyable. That particular day I really needed a good ol’ glass of Malbec regardless of food choice. Their only Malbec on offer is a good wine to have with food with a slightly fruity nose and a nice light lingering presence on the tongue.
Our dessert was a slab of chocolate truffle which we modified slightly, so we got some strawberry sorbet (made with basil which was a new discovery for this foodie) which really made the combination for us.
Yes. I know what you’re thinking. “hey Chris, this is about being healthy at Pho?” – The truffle was light and had a strong chocolate flavour to it with a light fruity sorbet, so it felt healthy. That’s what I told myself.
But we did finish the meal with a fresh mint tea…
With each visit to Pho, we come away with a warm fuzz. I’ll admit that I am massively bias as I do like what they do, and they are such nice people too. The service is always efficient yet friendly and as consistency goes, they have always been consistent with their food.
I’m amazed that they have been able to become even healthier than they already are, but they really achived it. And in the tastiest sense of the word! Get down to Pho in Queen Street quickly as the Healthy Specials are only on for a limited time!