All food is prepared from scratch on site each day (pic: Terry Murden)
Vietnamese flavours and fresh ingredients are at the heart of Pho’s first outlet in Scotland, writes KRISTEN ZAKURIC
Among the new wave of eating out places emerging from the dark days of lockdown is Pho, a Vietnamese street food restaurant which makes its debut in Scotland on the top floor of Edinburgh’s St James Quarter.
It’s the 32nd outlet for Stephen and Juliette Wall who opened their first in London in 2005 after they travelled to Vietnam and fell in love with the food. There’s now a collection of Pho restaurants dotted across the UK serving food that’s freshly prepared from scratch on site every day.
Pho specialises in its namesake rice noodle soup – the national dish of Vietnam. This popular, aromatic and healthy noodle soup is a signature main on Pho’s menu, comes with a side plate of fresh herbs to add as you please, and is traditionally based around bone broth. Pho’s broths are simmered for at least 12 hours in each restaurant before they hit the bowl.
Vietnamese flavours and fresh ingredients are at the heart of its menu – which also includes spring and summer rolls, spicy salads, wok-fried rice and noodle dishes and decadent curries, plus Vietnamese beers and coffees, fresh juices and a variety of cocktails.
Pho is setting out to appeal to a wide-range appetites – 40% of the menu is vegan while 98% is gluten free, and it is accredited by Coeliac UK.
Commenting on the launch, Edinburgh-born operations director Ewan McDonald said: “As an Edinburgh-boy, it’s fantastic to get back to my home city having worked away for years.”
Nick Peel, managing director of St James Quarter, added: “Pho is a great addition to the already amazing food and drink offerings at St James Quarter. It’s great to be bringing another well-loved, nationwide brand to Edinburgh for the first time.”
Stephen Wall concluded: “We have wanted to open in Edinburgh for a number of years and have come very close, so it’s very exciting to finally secure a great site in a venue that feels like it will become a local institution.”
Pho St James opens on 15 November