Gabrielle and I decided to go on another culinary adventure. And by adventure I mean we really didn't know what to expect, as the word would suggest. The place was called What the Pho....!
As soon as we walked in we noticed that the entire restaurant was booked out with reserved signs. This was a very good sign. The space was quite nice and considering how cheap the menu was the owners had put quite a bit of effort into the decor. Usually these eateries are very basic. While this was basic it was stylish.
For our entree we ordered a serve each of san chow bow and some traditional cold Vietnamese spring rolls with prawns. These came out promptly and we were delighted with the generous serving sizes. Gabrielle and I demolished the San Chow Bow. I speak for myself when I say food flew everywhere. This is never an easy dish to eat and we proved this tonight. The san chow bow was delicious. The chicken mince was combined with onion, pine nuts and bean-shoots and wasn't too salty. Just perfect. The ingredients were very fresh.
Laksa was an unusual choice for me as creamier meals don't usually excite me in the slightest. I had high hopes. When it came out the presentation was promising and the aromas of the broth were fragrant. It was odd because while it smelt spectacular the actual taste was lacking. I think if I could have changed the recipe I would have added more chilli, more salt and more fish sauce. I asked Gabrielle to try it also just to make sure it wasn't just me being fussy and she agreed that it was a little tasteless. But to be fair it was still very nice. I was surprised at the mixture of both egg and rice noodles. This was a little different but didn't subtract from the overall experience.
Gabrielle's meal was the salmon fillet, grilled and served on noodles with bok choy. The presentation of this dish was a little disappointing mainly because it was clear the bok choy was a little over cooked. This is a matter of opinion but for me over cooking vegetables is a sin indeed. There needs to be a little bit of crunch. The salmon fillet had a crispy skin which is always nice, naughty, but nice. The noodles it was served on were reminiscent of two minute mee goreng noodles. Gabrielle questioned why this was. It felt a bit cheap and it seemed strange that this was accompanying salmon. But this was her only complaint. Over all, and especially for the price, the salmon was a winner.
We really enjoyed our meal at What the Pho. This was exclaimed numerous times throughout our sitting. It is really lovely when you take a chance and it works out well. This is a place I would recommend highly. For anything that What the Pho may lack it makes up for in other ways. The good points far outweigh the bad and this I must stress.
Make a booking at one of the long tables at the front of house and watch the world go by. Or do what we did and hide out at the back so no one can see your chop stick skills - or lack there of.