Pho Restaurant - Reading Berkshire {restaurant review}


It was in a recent post I wrote about how much Reading has grown and I can't help but support that growth if it includes restaurants like Pho!

Pho is named after the Vietnamese national dish, an amazingly tasty, nutritious, filling noodle soup! I can say in all confidence, after my visit to the newly opened Pho in Reading, that the soup is all those things!


I tried the Pho dac biet which is one of the House Specials. Now before I tell you what is in that soup if you are trying a new restaurant always check out the House Specials; they are called that for a reason so I implore you try something off that part of the menu!


Back to the soup, Dac Biet in Vietnamese means "special" or "super" or "combo with everything" and Pho as we already said means noodle so Pho Dac Biet is Super Noodles combined with everything! Everything being king prawns, chicken & flash fried steak with garlic in beef broth and it was delicious and so filling I couldn't finish it! I suggest sharing if you can agree with someone on just one bowl.


Alyssia, my friend and fellow blogger, was my date and she had never tired Vietnamese food before! So, we had fun trying all sorts of dishes. I sort of jumped right into the noodle soups, but we did trying some amazing starters first!


Alyssia like the sound of the Nem nuong which is homemade pork & lemongrass meatballs with lettuce and herbs to wrap & dip with peanut sauce. The lovely and amazing wait staff informed us that it was best eaten wrapped in the green leaf. I hadn't heard that at first, but not only were the meatballs good wrapped in a leafy green but the Nem hai san was also delicious wrapped in a lettuce leaf!




As you can see the Nem hai san is a large crispy spring roll and is filled with king prawn, crab & pork with nuoc cham dipping sauce, which is a sort of sweet and sour sauce which is delicious! I couldn't recommend this enough, it was my personal favorite dish of the night.

We also tried the muc chien gion (pictured above) which we were told was a very popular dish because it's very lightly coated tender fried baby squid. I ended up using the nuoc cham dipping sauce for my fried squid as the salt, pepper, & lime dip was good, but a little too much citrus for me, but definitely try it and make your own decision!


Then we dived into our noodles, literally with spoons and forks! We had a great time figuring out the best way to eat them, the noodles are slippery! With a little advice from our amazing waiter we managed to twist the noodles with the fork in the spoons just like when eating spaghetti!

I have already talked about - Alyssia picked out the Pho ga - simple chicken breast in chicken broth and I tried a spoon full and I have to say that it's the best chicken soup ever. If I had a cold I would total get someone to deliver this to me pronto!

Which delivery service will be available at some point in the near future, so I've stored that bit of knowledge away! Also with the bonus of having a delicious broth soup with noodles and vegetables and meat when you aren't well is that these soups are packed full of good things that are good for you!


Pho doesn't just serve noodles they also serve other authentic Vietnamese dishes we couldn't resist trying a Com tam dac biet - or super broken rice combined with everything! We had ours with crispy beef, but you could also get it with chargrilled pork or chargrilled chicken thigh. We were both very impressed and happy with what is essentially a rice bowl. It was a mix of fresh crunchy vegetables, perfectly seasoned meat, and soft rice with a great sauce; be sure to mix it all together!! Top tip from our waitress!


Of course we had to try some desserts and authentic cocktails, and other drinks! Again not know where to start we had some help from the waitress on what we should try! We eventually tried the passionfruit cheesecake, chocolate truffle, and banana fritters!


Alyssia was drawn to the cheesecake, Bánh phô mai chanh dây or Passionfruit cheesecake. I am starting to see a trend in her love for cheesecake as this isn't the first time she was drawn to a cheesecake on one of our dinners out! However, I have never heard her talk about how light and creamy and refreshing a cheesecake was until this one! I snuck a bite and I couldn't agree more! 


Generally I'm not drawn to chocolate desserts after a meal, but the green tea ice cream paired with this chocolate truffle slab, had me curious! It's officially called Bánh sô-cô-la truffle and it was as light and creamy as the cheesecake and a perfect ending to a perfect dinner. 


We couldn't get away without trying the Chuối chiên or banana fritter. It's served as is or with a coconut or honey & ginger ice cream. Ours was without and I could only literally eat half of one as I was at this point throughly stuffed. However, that half of fritter was enough to allow me to say if you like bananas then this is the dessert for you as it was perfectly crispy and tasty! 


So, throughout the evening we tried the cocktails! My favorite is the one pictured in the top left corner the Ca the martini, which is basically an espresso martini made with nep phu loc a clear rice spirit, Vietnamese coffee, and condensed milk.


My second favorite cocktail of the night was the Phjoito,  their signature cocktail and it is a mojito with mint, lime, soda, and a clear rice spirit, same as above, nep pho loc Phu Loc. I love a good mojito and this one went down well!

Alyssia, not a big drinker went with the Rose Apple Bellini which like any bellini is made with prosecco and their's is made with a splash of Tao Mea rose apple liquor. It was dry and good accompaniment to dinner.

There are other things to drink besides cocktails, but as I'm not a big wine or beer drinker we stuck to the cocktails. The cocktails reflected the food and were all citrus type based cocktails. Nothing too fruity, we couldn't leave without trying the Lemon & Basil Martini made with their
homemade lemonade & muddled Thai basil. It had a very aniseed type flavor and if you like that sort of thing give this cocktail a try!


Last, but not least the coffee lover that I am couldn't leave without trying a Vietnamese coffee as according to my sister they have the best! So, I went with the iced coffee with a little condensed milk which is what they call Ca phe sua da. You can get it without the condensed milk if you don't like it. 

That pretty much wraps up our night! This place is my kind of food and it's one I will be visiting time and time again. The food was amazing and staff were super friendly and knowledgeable! Not only was the food great, but it was fun taking pictures so bright and colourful, I think this post has the most pictures I have ever put in any post ever.


1-1a King's Walk, King Street
Reading, RG1 2HG

*I was invited to visit and check it out Pho as it's recently opened in Reading, I was not compensated in a monetary way for my review, all opinions are my own, please see my contact/policy page above for more information.

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