Pho Manchester – a quick bite nicely done

When I first came to Manchester, The Corn Exchange (or Triangle Shopping Centre as it was known) was a beautiful building with a lost cause. There were a few shops struggling to entice shoppers but failing against the Arndale Centre or Cathedral Walk.

Fast forward to 2014 and developers took the bull by the horns and turned it into one of the city’s best eating destinations. Cleverly tapping into the location between the city centre proper and the Arena, it was obvious that footfall was going to be their weapon of choice.

There are around fourteen eating places in there offering everything from burgers to Indian to Italian. They may not necessarily be high end but the atmosphere in there is great and perfect for a pre- concert bite.

We went for Pho, a Vietnamese street food specialist. They take their name from the Vietnamese noodle soup which their menu is centred around. I’m a great believer in a “When in Rome” approach to a menu so went for the broth with steak.

We all love a bit of pomp and ceremony to our food whether it’s putting together crispy duck pancakes or choosing our own stir fries so when my meal came with a side of herbs and chilli giving me total in control of how I wanted my meal I was well in there. Digging in (and trying not to spill down my white t shirt) it was lovely.  The stocky broth was a perfect comfort food although the meat was a bit bland, I think I’d probably go down the prawn route if I had it again. That being said, it set me up perfectly for going and shaking a tail feather at the arena gig and at £9.25 it’s incredible value if you’re just grabbing a quick bite.

There are other things on offer if a broth isn’t your thing and my friend’s vermicelli noodles looked just as good. No food envy at this table. We held off on dessert, wanting to keep our dancing abilities at top notch but the list did look tempting for another visit.

With fourteen competitors in one building, Pho is definitely holding its own and certainly doesn’t feel like a chain when you’re in there.

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