Saturday, 1 September 2018

REVIEW: Pho & Bun, London

Review of Pho & Bun in London, Shaftesbury Avenue, Leicester Square, Theatre District. Set menu, Vietnamese and Thai food

I don't feel like I go out in London all too much nowadays. Sure, I have a list of places I want to eat at or go back to (ticked one of each list off on my birthday at the end of last month, thank you very much) but now I'm living a little further out, it's less convenient to pop in on a whim. But every now and then the stars align and I'm in London town for work in the day, with a delicious restaurant to review lined up for the evening.

Usually, I combine this with the holy trinity of meeting a London-based pal, but this time people were busy and whatnot so I thought I'd treat the husband to this one. Yes, he DOES get a lot of free meals out of me, glad you noticed.

I wasn't really sure what to expect from Pho & Bun. It's on Shaftesbury Avenue, and peak tourist zone isn't always a mark of quality. But I stand entirely corrected on my doubts - this was a GREAT meal. And even better, it was excellent value. Always a rare pleasure to get that combo in central London, eh?

Review of Pho & Bun in London, Shaftesbury Avenue, Leicester Square, Theatre District. Set menu, Vietnamese and Thai food

We enjoyed their set menu, which is £23.95 each and includes two starters, a main, a pudding and a drink. Two starters! And these were huge, too. We both got the summer rolls to start - mine with tofu and Matt's with prawns. They were fat and well stuffed, super light and fresh. Summer rolls generally don't have loads of flavour - they're more about fresh, crunchy vegetables in a light wrap - and these were as I expected, but they were served with a rich peanutty sauce, that was punchy and strong and gave the starter a much needed hit of flavour.

We also ordered the sticky honey chicken wings and the honey glazed spare ribs, which were perfect for sharing as you got two each. I did think there was more than two chicken wings in the bowl, but no - they were just huge! Guys, they were incredible. So crispy, super moist and with a great flavour - the honey really came through.

Review of Pho & Bun in London, Shaftesbury Avenue, Leicester Square, Theatre District. Set menu, Vietnamese and Thai food

And to risk repeating myself - the ribs were huge, moist, full of flavour. Mmmm. Messy, but in a good way. The best ribs are always messy in a good way.

Our lovely waiter encouraged us to order the Pho, their signature dish, but it was 30+ degrees out there and we both felt like we were melting, so a hot bowl of soup wasn't top of our list. So instead, I went for the other part of the Bun in their name - a steamed Bao burger. I've always pronounced Bao to rhyme with 'Ow', but our waiter told me it actually rhymes with 'Oh'. The more you know.

Ohhhh this was good. It was closer to a burger than a traditional bun, fusing the pair perfectly. We're talking a huge steamed bun, stuffed to the brim with confit pork belly which had been cooked for 8 hours, topped with chilli mayo, secret soy sauce and pickled cucumber. It was fabulous, and I want it again.

Review of Pho & Bun in London, Shaftesbury Avenue, Leicester Square, Theatre District. Set menu, Vietnamese and Thai food

I also went with the sweet potato fries with chilli mayo, which are an extra addition to the set menu, but entirely worth it. Sweet potato fries are always worth it.

Matt had the sticky rice with double cooked pork belly and deep fried quail eggs, which looks like quite a small bowl but was densely packed. It was full of flavour, but was particularly good with the siracha or hoi sin sauce that was on the table - particularly the rice, as there was quite a lot.

Review of Pho & Bun in London, Shaftesbury Avenue, Leicester Square, Theatre District. Set menu, Vietnamese and Thai food

For pudding, I went for the Vietnamese caramel flan which was sweet and tasty, sitting in a pool of rich, caramelly sauce that tasted of deliciously burnt sugar. Almost coffee like.

And Matt had the coconut snow with Vietnamese ice coffee, which was the perfect choice for such a hot day - the snow was closer to a snow cone than ice cream, and made for a refreshing, un-sickly pud.

I was super impressed with our meal at Pho & Bun - it was delicious and plentiful, and I definitely plan to go again. Thanks for an excellent meal, guys!

Pho & Bun is at 76 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 6ND. The restaurant kindly paid for our meal in exchange for this honest review.

Review of Pho & Bun in London, Shaftesbury Avenue, Leicester Square, Theatre District. Set menu, Vietnamese and Thai food

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2 comments

  1. Now I HAVE to visit this place - everything you ate looks and sounds absolutely delicious. I usually steer clear of Shaftsbury Avenue but this would definitely tempt me there...

    LIFE & LOVES: A Foodie Blog

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  2. Yum, this looks delicious! And I must confess, I always pronounced 'bao' to rhyme with 'ow'! x

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