When it comes to Vietnamese food in London, there is a decidedly East-West divide. All the best restaurants are in the East, congregated around Kingsland Road in Shoreditch, and anyone in the West craving a bowl of pho is left with but one (unsatisfactory) option - Pho at Westfield.
Pho is a chain, presently 5 branches strong, serving "Vietnamese Street Food". It is to Vietnamese food what Wagamama is to Japanese food, and Ping Pong is to dim sum - a poor imitation. Prices are acceptable, portions of a good size, and food is dished out almost immediately. That does not, however, excuse appalling food.
I had the Pho Bo Dac Biet: steak, brisket & meatball. The vermicelli was too thick, the steak and brisket too tough, the meatballs too dense, and the soup bland and weak. Needless to say it did not compare favourably to the quality of food available at any of the Shoreditch establishments, never mind the streets of Vietnam.
In a nutshell…
If you're ever in West London and find yourself craving Vietnamese food, hop on the tube and make your way across town, or suppress that craving because Pho will not leave you satisfied.
Pho (Westfield London)
The Balcony, Westfield London Shopping Centre, Ariel Way, Shepherd’s Bush, London, W12 7GE
Average Price: £10