With pho restaurants scattered all around Warsaw, its about time it made it to Poznań. Cheap and filling, pho’s the Vietnamese equivalent of fast food. However, this dish with simple beginnings carries the weight of a nation on its shoulders. Chances are unless you’re a serious foodie, you’d be hard-pressed to name any other Vietnamese food. Without the trendiness of Thai or the refinement of Japanese, Vietnamese cuisine has struggled to find a place alongside its Asian neighbors. Until now. Pho is the new trend so I went to Phobar to try some food and spoke to the kitchen chef while i was there.

Hi, so how did you learn to make Pho? Have you been to Vietnam?

Unfortunately I havent been to Vietnam yet but I have always since I can remember been into Asian food, Vietnamese especially. I have many years of research behind me as well as eating all the Pho I can eat in a short space of time. Books and practice , thats the key. Im planning to visit Vietnam next year to get the best education possible. I cant wait.

Your main dishes are Pho but you also have Banh Mi? What is that?

Bahn Mi is the Vietnamese word for bread. Taken alone, bánh mì means “bread” but is understood to be the Vietnamese baguette.It is an airy French baguette with a thin crunchy crust that could contain a cornucopia of roast chicken or pork, homemade pâté, cured ham, headcheese, a mélange of pickled daikon radish and carrot, slices of cucumber and chili pepper, a generous sprinkling of cilantro leaves, a few dashes of Maggi sauce, and a spread of mayonnaise. At once spicy, salty, sour, savory, sweet, and aromatic: a bite into a well stacked bánh mì is always a moment of rapture.

And Nem?

Nem is a Vietnamese spring roll containing ingredients anything from meat to vegetables and is rolled up in a sheet of moist rice paper. Absolutely delicious, especially as a starter!

You sell beer also?

Sure. Infact we were thinking to call our restaurant Phobar & beer but stuck with just Phobar. Generally we have many different craft beers at any one time.

The smells here are insane. Can I try some of your pho?

Sure. Take a seat and enjoy………

After speaking to Mateusz who happens to be a co-owner as well as the chef I was served Pho Bo whch is the most authentic Pho offered on the menu. Consisting of a deeply savoury, warmly spiced beef broth laced with slippery rice noodles and a modest amount of meat – and generally served with handfuls of fresh herbs and a generous squeeze of lime – it’s the perfect warming dish for this time of year.

Second up was Bho Chay. If you are a vegetarian wishing to have a taste of Vietnamese cuisine, you’ve got to learn one word: CHAY. It means “vegetarian” in Vietnamese. This is the vegetarian version of the national Vietnamese dish PHO. Thus you have the name PHO CHAY!

What I love about Pho is that its like having a 2 in one meal, especially with the meat versions. Its like a soup and main course rolled up into one. And at 20zł for the Pho Bo thats incredible value. Even though Pho is generally thought of as fastfood and cheap, its not about the money. Phobar opening in Poznan is setting the bar for Vietnamese food in the City. Without really knowing it, the owners have added a new culinary experience to Poznań, enriching the choices available to us mere mortals.

A city without pho is not in the 21st century. I fully expect for more Pho bars to open up in 2018 but its going to be difficult to beat Phobar. Im sure they will remain on top for years to come!

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