Restaurant Review: Pho & Bun, Shaftesbury Ave in London
Effortlessly authentic but innovative, Viet Eat owner Andy Le opened Pho & Bun on Shaftesbury Avenue with the idea of introducing a new Vietnamese culinary concept to London. As you may have already guessed in the name, Pho & Bun’s menu has encouraged two of the most popular Vietnamese dishes (pho & bun) to sit alongside one another.
Fresh, steaming and fragrant, with rice noodles in a carefully prepared and flavoursome clear broth, Pho & Bun give their soup the edge with the freshest herbs and organic free range meat. Pho Noodle Soups on the menu include their traditional interpretation – Spicy Imperial Vermicelli with Tender Beef or Corn Fed Chicken and the Bun Sa Lemongrass Vermicelli with Rump Steak or Tiger Prawns. Pho & Bun’s collaborative, simple but creative menu then goes onto include another classic but somewhat different Vietnamese dish, specialising also in serving up Bao Burgers.
An Eastern interpretation of the more familiar beef burger is the simplest way to describe a Bao Burger. The 21st century answer in light of culinary globalisation and the multi-cultural dining scene, Bao Burgers combine the current trend for the steamed bun, popular throughout Asia, with delicious fillings and with one featured on their menu the very first of its kind available in London.
Authentic dining translates globally, celebrated chef Luke Dale-Roberts said in ‘Ultra Travel’ recently that he believes what makes a restaurant special is its intangible qualities and that it can be the personality of the person cooking; essentially if it’s authentic it translates. The visionary behind popular Viet Eat in Holborn and meeting the growing demand for new and authentic dining experiences in London and in particular Vietnamese food; Andy Le understands these qualities and has been quick off of the mark offering the authentic buzz with new and dynamic dishes and exotic partnerships that are quick and convenient for the London market.
Combining a charity cause with culinary expertise, another collaboration in a bid to raise money for Action Against Hunger, Andy Le recently has recently created The world’s most expensive pho that was purchased by award-winning chef; Aldo Zilli, for a staggering £1240; with every penny donated to the worthy cause. A preparation over two months, Andy Le’s ‘Super Pho’ is made out of what is said to be the ultimate beef stock with the use of a whole leg of dry aged beef and A5 grade Kobe beef (retailed at £600/kg) which is the most expensive on the market. Achieving only the most tender and rare cuts, The Super Pho is accompanied with oyster and oscietra summer rolls and Canadian crab, lobster and free range black pork spring rolls.
Sandwiched between the food hubs of Soho and Chinatown Pho & Bun is a restaurant that is sensitive to authenticity, mirroring the importance of their Vietnamese persona. Following in the footsteps of the country’s rich and vibrant street food scene, the space has been designed by the Vietnam’s leading interior design firm, Water Architecture; channelling distinctive traditional designs and patterns with bespoke chairs, tables and crockery that are all hand-made in the country.
Address: 76 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 6ND, 020 7287 3528, vieteat.co.uk/pho-bun