Where: A chinatown basement opposite the supermarket with the good kimchi
Price: Just right
Tastiness Factor: 😲
Return Custom: I have already been twice, so yeah…
I need to tell you guys something. I have a new favourite sandwich and it doesn’t have mayonnaise in it! This is a big deal, I know some people don’t like it but I’m the sort of person who has mayo with chips, nuggets and even on toast… Yes I know I’m gross, whatever. The point being, it is pretty standard of me to use mayo as a butter substitute in a sandwich as I find it is tastier and adds an element of moisture. The chicken bánh mì at I am Pho, from what I could briefly tell before devouring my half, did not have mayonnaise in (or much anyway) and it was quite easily the tastiest sandwich I have ever eaten. If there is anything good about colonialism*, it is this sandwich. It has the best things, the tastiest Viet/French baguette that is crispy on the outside and warm and fluffy inside. The juicy sweet meat is then paired with the crunchy and fresh salad balancing the rich and crisp flavours and it is sooo good. Please go and eat one, or three, they have different fillings that really prove that simple ingredients can make the most delicious food.
Now, I did get ahead of myself there. The restaurant is called I am Pho (fuh- like fu-nny), so that dish is pretty important to the restaurant’s identity. My initial visit to I am Pho was to have pho, at the time I was looking for something tasty that would fill me up, but also wasn’t unhealthy like a pile of fries with a burger. And I got all those things. Pho is an excellent comfort food, that you feel nourishing you as you eat. For those who are unfamiliar its western equivalent would be chicken noodle soup, but I use that term loosely as pho is so very much souperior and it comes in bowls big enough to drown a child or an adult with a small head*. The pho is tasty as it is, not spicy and wouldn’t be too challenging for a strong western palate as it is a delicious stock based soup that takes hours to make. You can have it as you you wish at I am Pho, with a range of condiments to choose; you can spice or sauce things up however you like and you also add your own amounts of fresh ingredients including: mint, chilli, bean sprouts and lime. It is an intensely satisfying dish that will help ward off all manner of ailments*.
In addition to the pho, I tried the egg and crab noodle soup that was also brilliant. Richer and more complex than the pho, which isn’t to disregard the latter, both are great in their own way. Other dishes on offer include the summer rolls which I enjoyed with moreish satay dip, but my tall friend wasn’t a fan of the squishy texture. Again, fairly healthy in comparison to dining out experiences trusting you don’t lick the dish of satay sauce clean like I did. My only critique of I am Pho is that the chairs need replacing as they are looking a bit tired and icky, but that’s just another reason for you to go and give them your money so that they can buy more.
*I in no way condone colonisation. It is bad and I have not studied this era.
*Please don’t murder.
*Don’t quote me on that.