Pho Viet 68 Review: A Taste of HomeSaturday, December 17, 2016
Small and quaint and located on the bustling Shoreditch High Street, this restaurant fulfilled all my cravings and hit all the right spots. Coming from a Vietnamese background and with both parents being chefs, I find it hard to take to Vietnamese restaurants and cafés. But they seem to be popping up everywhere and people are falling in love with this light and healthy cuisine. And I know exactly why; Vietnamese dishes contain this harmonious balance of aromatics, heat, sweetness, sourness and of course fish-sauciness. Just like other Asian cuisines, it is all about the yin and yang of the flavours but the Vietnamese add a touch of freshness and healthiness.
A day full of meetings deserves a meal that satisfies your stomach and warms your heart and Pho Viet 68 did just that. The restaurant describes itself as a vendor of Vietnamese street food offering both an eat in and take out service. One can find all the staples of Vietnamese cuisine: phở, bún bò Huế, chả giò and gỏi cuốn, just to name a few, and the food here is something spectacular. Fresh, fragrant and filling, we like this restaurant. A lot.
For starters, we ordered salt and pepper squid and prawn gỏi cuốn - both accompanied with sweet chilli sauce and chill fish sauce, they were perfect entrées. The squid was succulent and beyond fresh and cooked to perfection with spring onions and red chillies, making the starter fragrant and fresh. Just the right amount of crispiness and spice! It can be difficult to balance any gỏi cuốn but the prawn gỏi cuốn was rolled with the perfect balance of ingredients - the right amount of noodles, prawn and vegatables dipped into home made fish sauce really does put a smile on your face.
Our mains were caramelised pork belly hot pot and Vietnamese style duck curry - both warm and tummy loving dishes served with fragrant Jasmine rice. The pork belly was sweet and succulent stewed with chillies and soy sauce and paired with the rice, made an amazing balance of flavours. Duck can be rare in curries, but its tenderness made with coconut milk, red and yellow peppers, chillies and onions created a soft blend of flavours with a kick!