Tag Archives: Pho

NÔM, Leeds

A few months ago I wrote about meeting new Vietnamese Street Food traders NÔM at Kirkstall Deli Market, where I was won over by their Bánh Mì sandwich. It was fantastic to meet them and talk about their passion for food, and having said early on of their plans to open a city centre deli, I’d eagerly followed their progress. Now NÔM is open on Great George Street in Leeds city centre, with many other lunchtime options around them they offer something different, and would certainly make a change to the usual city worker lunch.

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Today was my first opportunity to have a look, arriving at 12.20pm bang in the middle of the lunch time rush.

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The interior looks fresh and vibrant, with their simple yet varied menu on full display. With more scope to have a wider menu than is available at Kirkstall Deli Market, as well as their Bánh Mì (£3.95 – £4.45) and Bún noodles (£4.75 – £4.95), they are also offering Cuốn (Summer Rolls), £3.55 – £3.75 and Phở noodle soup, £5.75. With many options being vegetarian, gluten and dairy free it caters for many dietary requirements too.

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I was starving so went for a BBQ Pork Cuốn (Summer Rolls) and BBQ Pork Bánh Mì, I’d absolutely raved on about this the first time I had it and loved it just as much on this occasion. For £3.95 it’s a great price and filling. The pork has fantastic flavour and the additional ingredients of pickles, coriander, mayo and chilli amongst others bring layers of balanced flavour. A yummy lunch!!

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I could’ve just eaten that and I would’ve left extremely satisfied, but thought I should try something else too, so a portion of Summer Rolls did the trick. Priced at £3.55 and again, very reasonably priced compared to other establishments selling a similar product.  Lovely and fresh, the well flavoured pork is allowed to sing and is accompanied by fresh carrot, rice noodles and mint running through it. The dipping sauce adding saltiness where needed. 

For those wanting a coffee with their lunch, they’ve drafted in coffee local coffee supplier Limini Coffee, based in Bradford. 

So if you fancy lunch from a local, independent business in the city centre, why not try out NÔM!

NÔM Deli
77A Great George Street
Leeds
LS1 3BR
0113 245 0992

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Pho @ Trinity Kitchen, Leeds

Pho has been serving at Trinity Kitchen as one of their five permanent eateries since its opening in October 2013, and as far as I’m concerned, it is THE pick of the bunch. I’ve eaten there a number of times and have always walked away very happy. Even though I knew it was healthier than most meals I might have, I’d never really thought HOW healthy until now. Part of Pho’s ethos is to serve healthy, nutritious street food made with the freshest ingredients. They have a decent sized menu with enough variety for everyone, and not too big that it completely baffles you!! So continuing with the theme of ‘New Year, New You’ I visited with Pho the other half and my foodie friend Alice to sample some food.

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If you want to look at the Nutritional Guidelines of every dish they are clearly shown on their website, and Justina who served us was more than happy to let us look at a copy. It was fantastic to see that MOST of their dishes are VERY health, nutritious and filling too. 

We selected a number of dishes across the menu to get a good overview. I ordered the Super Green Juice made of kale, apple, pineapple and lime – it was refreshing, had a lovely freshness and it was if you knew it was doing you good. 

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Next up the starters: We tried to be good and choose everything healthy, but we couldn’t help ourselves and had a sneaky little portion of pork and lemongrass meatballs, which are a little bit naughty, but VERY nice!!! Aren’t they always.

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I love the summer rolls, they are rammed with lots of fresh vegetables, herbs and rice noodles so ultra healthy, at only a meagre 115 calories, 0.8g fat (just 0.1g saturated)!! They are accompanied with great dips – peanut sauce, Nước chấm sauce (fish sauce, sugar, fresh red chillies, garlic & rice vinegar).

Our chosen salads were the Gỏi xoài -a  spicy green mango salad topped with pork, dried shrimp & peanuts and Gỏi ngó sen – a salad of tangy lotus stems with chicken, prawns, green bean and sesame seeds. I’m not normally a huge salad eater, but these were both delicious!! Full of fresh flavours, the chicken and prawns were succulent and juicy, they still had a little crunch and tasted great!

Both salads are under 200 calories each!! The mango salad – 175 calories, 8.1g fat, (1.6 saturated) and lotus stem – 194 calories, 4.7g fat (1g saturated) respectively. Crazy healthy and a generous portion too!

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The noodles were next: bun noodles are like a thin, soft spaghetti noodle, served at room temperature as they are in Vietnam, accompanied with a lemongrass, fresh herbs, beansprouts, peanuts and a chilli wok-fried topping.  Served with the nước chấm sauce, you mix together all the ingredients to combine all the textures and flavours.

At just 424 calories, 8g fat (0.6g saturated) for chicken bun noodles and 362 calories, 5.1g fat (0.7g saturated) for prawn bun noodles they are both incredibly healthy, low in calories and very tasty!

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My friend had the Phở tái lan with flash fried steak and garlic, served Hanoi style, as a steaming bowl full of rice noodle soup. Part of Vietnamese food is to be adaptable to personal taste, so it comes with a selection of condiments in the form of fresh mint, lime, chillies and bean sprouts so you can choose how to much heat or seasoning you’d like.  At only 347 calories, 5.6g fat (1g saturated), it was a very healthy and satisfying bowl of food.

Pho are proud of the fact that their pho soups are low in fat & saturated fat, are a good source of 10 of your vitamins & minerals including vitamins C, B3, B6, folate, iron and magnesium, which are great for reducing tiredness and fatigue.

They also have a children’s menu and for people with particular dietary requirements, such as gluten, dairy or an egg intolerance, the menu is very well suited to these particular needs, as they use rice paper and rice noodles in a lot of their dishes. Great news which was welcomed by the other half!! 

If you want a lovely lunch, dinner Pho is a great option for those who are after something filling, very flavourful, reasonably priced and healthy and nutritious!!! Food is priced at £3.95 – £8.25.

Disclaimer: I was invited by Pho as a guest so my meal was complementary, but the views are my own unbiased opinions. I would quite happily go back and pay full-price for the same meal though. 

Pho TK1 Trinity Kitchen,
401 Trinity Leeds,
Albion Street,
Leeds
LS1 5AY
0113 245 6926

Pho Restaurant launch night @ Trinity Kitchen

Thursday night was the Pho Vietnamese Restaurant Launch Night at Trinity Kitchen in Leeds. After reviewing them on the opening day a few weeks ago, I was invited by Libby Andrews their Head of Marketing to the event. Initially I’d thought I couldn’t make it, because I’d bought tickets for the Leeds film festival, but I didn’t think twice once I realised I could fit it in, so invited a foodie friend to join me. It’s obvious that the idea of a launch evening is to promote what Pho do best – produce food with tasty, fresh flavours. We were amongst a number of other Leeds based bloggers with drinks and food in plentiful supply. After a long day at school my friend and I were both tired, with the need to relax after a pretty full on day being paramount. While we put the world to rights we were treated to a selection of dishes from the sides and snacks on the menu.

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Gỏi cuốn: summer rolls (prawn and chicken) with herbs, vermicelli & pickle
Gỏi cuốn: summer rolls (prawn and chicken) with herbs, vermicelli & pickle

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Chả giò: spring rolls (pork) served with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip
Chả giò: spring rolls (pork) served with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip
Chả giò: spring rolls (veggie) served with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip
Chả giò: spring rolls (veggie) served with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip
Nem nướng: pork & lemongrass meatballs with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip
Nem nướng: pork & lemongrass meatballs with lettuce & herbs to wrap & dip

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Mực chiên giòn: tender fried baby squid with a salt, pepper & lime dip
Mực chiên giòn: tender fried baby squid with a salt, pepper & lime dip

I must say that it all tasted great, with their typical fresh vibrant flavours coming to the fore, a great use of herbs, dips and heat from chilli where required. The greedy person that I am thought it was shame we didn’t sample their noodle or rice dishes, it would have given us a better overview of their menu. They are really tasty too, but saying that I was pretty full after all the snacks and sides they treated us to!! My favourites from the evening were the pork spring rolls which were crisp with a good filling and the pork and lemongrass meatball wraps. I’d love to try to make the meatballs at home, they were very moreish, juicy and had great flavour from the aromatic lemongrass.

Once again it showed me how tasty their food is, it’s quick, fresh, healthy, good value and best of all really yummy!!

With this being the only purely Vietnamese place in Leeds City Centre to my knowledge, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s been a huge success so far. Asian food always seems to be a winner and be extremely popular. As far other restaurants in Leeds if you want a Vietnamese fix you can get some at Viet-Thai in Stanningley and at Tong Palace on Vicar Lane which serves both Chinese and Vietnamese food.

Pho TK1 Trinity Kitchen,
401 Trinity Leeds,
Albion Street,
Leeds
LS1 5AY
0113 245 6926

Pho Restaurant @ Trinity Kitchen, Trinity Leeds

Trinity Kitchen has opened and I’d been very kindly invited by Libby Edwards, Head of Marketing from Pho Restaurant to come and meet Stephen and Jules who’d set up the venture. After a trip to Vietnam 10 years ago they fell in love with the food and saw an opportunity to fill a gap in the UK market, opening London’s first Vietnamese street food restaurant in 2005. Since then, they’ve open Pho in a number of different locations in the South, but this is the first in the North of England. Hopefully this will be the spring board for more restaurants in the future up North.

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I’ve only eaten Vietnamese food a few times, a few years ago when Tampopo had a base in Leeds, but most recently in Berlin, where I had a fantastic meal at a great restaurant called Chén Chè Teehaus near Rosenthaler Strasse, so I had an idea of the type of food they might serve here. The Pho team have a real enthusiasm for the food and it really showed, Libby explained their menu and after a chat about my likes and dislikes she selected a range of items for me to try out. After only eating biscuits all day, I was once again looking forward to a good feed. And anyway, I have an excellent excuse (if ever I needed one before), I need to be carb loading for the little matter of running the Yorkshire Marathon on Sunday!!!!

From ordering the food to collecting it took a matter of minutes, it all looked really fresh, healthy and tasty. One of the best things about the layout of this street food restaurant is that you can see your food being prepared and cooked as you wait for it. I thought I’d tuck into the hot dishes first – my Mực chiên giòn (squid) and Phở tôm – traditional Vietnamese noodle soup (which Pho specialise in) with prawns.

Mực chiên giòn - tender fried baby squid with a salt, pepper & lime dip and Gỏi cuốn - fresh rice paper summer rolls with herbs, chicken vermicelli & pickle
Mực chiên giòn – tender fried baby squid with a salt, pepper & lime dip and
Gỏi cuốn – fresh rice paper summer rolls with herbs, chicken vermicelli & pickle
Phở tôm: with tiger prawns, a side plate of fresh herbs and a Cranberry and orange juice
Phở tôm: with tiger prawns, a side plate of fresh herbs and a Cranberry and orange juice

Now if you’ve read my blog before, you may already know how much of a squid fan I am. I absolutely love the stuff and this reaffirmed my love for it. Tender and soft, no sign of chewiness, crisp tentacles and with its light, crisp coating had a good mix of textures. Libby said that the dip that accompanies it (a mixture of salt, pepper, chilli, sugar and lime dip) really brings it alive. So listening to the advice from someone in the know, I duly followed her advice and went for it. Oh, she was so right, the dip was fantastic, smacking the senses with sweet, salty, sour and heat all in one hit and were an excellent addition to the squid. image

My bowl of steaming hot Vietnamese noodles was light, with a really fresh flavoured stock, the prawns had that barely opaque appearance showing they were perfectly cooked, juicy and plump. I am also a MASSIVE fan of rice noodles and have worked my way through many plates of the stuff, so I know that on their own they have a neutral flavour, making them an excellent vehicle for taking on other flavours. This is where the accompanying herbs play their part – red chilli, fresh mint, thai basil and coriander all add another dimension to the dish as a whole. When drinking the soup stock you really get a hit of all of these and I personally couldn’t get enough of it. My chicken summer rolls (sorry no picture as I accidentally deleted it, oops) were light, the chicken was juicy and moist and all its partners in crime, the pickle and herbs kept it a very fresh snack with lots of texture from the crisp veg. With the dips of hoisin, peanut and fish sauce, there was plenty to keep it interesting and tasty.

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All in all it was a healthy, filling meal with quick service. Lots of choice for carnivores and non-meat eaters alike. Next time I’d love to try the wok fried noodles Phở xào with chicken & prawn.

In terms of prices the sides, starters and salads range from £3.95 – £6.45, whereas noodles or rice dishes are between £5.75 – £8.25. They also have a Pho to go menu too.

Even though I’d been invited to Pho and did not pay for my meal this time, the next time I visit I will be more than happy to pay for it!! I definitely recommend it.

Food: Fresh flavour, well cooked.

Service: Brisk, staff friendly (even though it must have been a very long and busy first day).

Pho TK1
Trinity Kitchen
Trinity Leeds
Albion Street
Leeds
LS1 5AY