It is amazing that sometimes the hardest things to describe can actually be defined in simple words - such as all of the delicate flavours that go into the Vietnamese dish simply known as Pho.
Taking the flavours, and the name, of this dish is a small collection of Vietnamese cafes in and around Central London. They specialise in Vietnamese street food, where delicious fresh salads, spring and summer rolls and hot spicy noodle soups are the order of the day.
The Pho I visited, near Oxford Circus, was actually the second of the cafes to be created, so the perfect place to get stuck in to the Vietnamese food experience.
The first thing you notice on entering these cosy places are the array of bottles and jars on your table, these are all the sauces and spices on offer for customising the soup of your pho (or other dishes you order, should you wish). Similarly, when ordering the hot broth, you are served with a separate plate of herbs, which you can add to your bowl as you require. It is this level of customisation which brings the authenticity to Pho, as it allows you to create the dish you want to have, just like the Vietnamese would do.
To go with your food you can choose from authentic beers, rice wines, carefully selected wine or Vietnamese inspired cocktails, all of which will complement your food exactly - plus a coffee with condensed milk with dessert will really help finish off your meal too.
So, if you like noodles, you like spice, or just the delicious taste of fresh food in a nice atmosphere, you need look no further - it's all here...