WonderPho is the latest Vietnamese restaurant to open in Nottingham taking over the space formerly occupied by Oscar and Rosies on Thurland street.
Owner Jade Nguyen and husband Jinhai Chen are the driving force behind the place and say that they would be offering ‘traditional foods such as Banh mi, Pho, slow cooked beef and chicken dishes’
They launched softly and without any fuss a couple of weeks ago, so softly that it was by chance that I found them open as I was bimbling around town.
The menu was a lot more diverse that I had expected with rice bowls, clay pots, vermicelli bowls, noodles, and curries to go alongside the expected Pho and Banh Mi dishes.
Today though as it was my first visit I had to start out properly on the journey with a bowl of Pho
BEEF BRISKET PHO
I ordered a bowl of the Pho with Slow Cooked Brisket Beef or Phở bò chín to give the correct name.
I liked that the broth was clear and that I could see down into the depths of the bowl to see my noodles and meat. I was also pleased to see that there was a very generous amount of sliced brisket in the dish as well.
The menu describes the Pho as ‘Our traditional Vietnamese Pho has been carefully simmered for 24 hours with rich beef bone and a secret combination of herbs and spice, served with flat rice noodle, beansprouts, lemon, chillies and fresh herbs’
AROMATICS FOR THE PHO
The ‘beansprouts, lemon, chillies and fresh herbs‘ or aromatics as I seem to have called them arrive with the soup on a side plate. The idea being that you add as much or as little as you like.
Who is adding all that chopped red chilli? Not me but maybe some people like their food mouth numbingly hot, each to their own.
I was just adding a couple of bits, a handful of bean sprouts, all the chopped coriander and the leaves off the mint. I squeezed all the lime juice into the broth as well and mixed it all together to let the flavours mingle.
I really liked the lightness of the broth here at WonderPho, it had a good yet gentle meaty taste and the addition of the lime juice just lifted it up for me as it needed a bit of acid to get it more interesting.
There was plenty of meat, some bits a little more ragged than others, and a couple of bits maybe a bit too chewy. That is fine with me as we are supposed to be using the cheaper cuts of meat in humble dishes like this.
There are enough noodles to fill you up but not too many to take over, I know that you are supposed to use these flat noodles but I do find them much harder to pick up with pointy chopsticks so I confess that I resorted to using my fork and spoon to eat them.
All in all its a very good bowl of Noodle Soup and was enough of a taste to make me want to come back for more.
If I have more Pho then I am going all out and will be ordering the Mixed Meat Combo which is Tiger prawn, pulled chicken, sliced rare beef and slow cooked beef. It’s only £11.80 so just a couple of quid more than my Beef Pho which was £9.80.
One thing I know I will be back for is the Banh Mi which they only serve at Lunchtimes. I saw groups of young Asian kids getting these when I was eating my Pho and they looked really good and packed out with fillings. They seemed to be sharing them and also getting rice and noodles as well and why not indeed 🙂
WonderPho is located at 9 Thurland St, Nottingham, NG1 3DH