There is something truly comforting about a hot steaming bowl of pho. The combination of the thick rice noodles, the broth and the vegetables is perfect.
Cafe VN specialises in pho – the noodle soup, and bun – the noodle salad. The bright lime green sign lights up the outside of the restaurant. The green colour theme is followed through into the interior. The restaurant has a casual feel to it and even though it is fairly small in size, it is very clean and light. Red lantern style lights hang from the ceiling.
The vegetarian Summer Rolls were a cold starter. Shredded lettuce, cucumber and thin noodles were wrapped in the rice paper. The rolls were fresh and light.
In contrast, the vegetarian Spring Rolls were hot and generously filled. They were quite oily. Both the Summer and Spring Rolls were served with a sweet chilli dipping sauce.
To drink, it was pure coconut water. This was a refreshing drink, served in a tall glass. The coconut water did not have any sugar or additives added to it and it did not need it either.
Even though pho was what I had in mind, it did not stop me getting tempted by the stir fried noodle and rice dishes. The food that was being brought out to the other diners all looked really good.
But I stuck to my original choice of the Vegetarian Pho. This noodle soup came with thick rice noodles, tofu and mushrooms. It could also be ordered as a spicy version. The garnishes that came on the side were basil, beansprouts, lime and chilli. The pho was really delicious and filling. The broth had a light flavour to it. The big bowl of pho was certainly a hearty dish.
A simple dessert of ice cream completed the meal. The Ben and Jerry’s Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream was better than other ice creams that I have had of the same flavour. Big chunks of the biscuit bases and strawberry pieces, combined with the creamy ice cream was just lovely.
Cafe VN gave us fresh tasting and filling Vietnamese food. The food was cooked to order. The staff were friendly and gave us service with a smile. It would be nice to come back to Cafe VN to try the other dishes.
Cafe VN, 144 Clerkenwell Road, London, EC1R 5DP