Pho Viet on Parnell Street has been on my list to try for a very long time. While walking past, I took a look at the menu and to my surprise I found an extensive vegetarian/vegan section. Although I associate Vietnamese food with being fresh, it often contains some sneaky meat or fish which can make it difficult to navigate when you’re vegan.
The restaurant has about ten tables downstairs and more upstairs, with each of them filled this lunchtime. Vegan and vegetarian are denoted by numbers – much like allergens – so it’s very clear to see the options that are available. Almost everything on the vegetarian menu is actually vegan. I opt for the summer rolls (€4.50) and Pho Veg (€10.50).
The food arrives quickly and, although not the best value compared to other lunchtime spots, is a lot for what you pay. The summer rolls are a little underwhelming – what could used as an opportunity to showcase what fresh vegetables and herbs they have to offer is actually a tightly packed bundle of iceberg lettuce, rice noodles and shredded carrot. The saving grace here is the peanut sauce which definitely makes up for its counterpart. It is like a balance between hoi sin and satay, and has that savoury kick I love in vegan food done well.
The Pho comes presented with two sauces and a plate of bean sprouts, chilli, lemon and mint. The noodle soup itself is fresh and tasty – and the fried tofu on top is cooked well. The flavours in it are subtle but with a drop of each of the sauces and some toppings it really comes into its own. I can’t help but feel like it could do with a few more fresh veggies as some of it feels a bit manufactured but it’s tasty and plenty of food to fill you up.
Despite a few gripes, Pho Viet has a lot to offer for anyone looking for a wide variety of vegan Vietnamese food options. The food isn’t quite there and few small changes would really elevate their menu but regardless, I’ll be coming back.
You can find all the reviews for vegan lunch spots around Dublin over on my reviews page.
If you’re looking for a chance to try a whole host of different vegan vietnamese options, Pho Viet is the place to go. Despite a few things they could do better, it’s still well worth a visit.