OLD STREET | EC1
With its fresh ingredients and intensely flavoured dishes, Vietnamese food continues to spread across London, and Chao is a worthy entry on the scene.
Found at the Old Street end of Whitecross Street, and despite the street's market having the potential to overshadow it, queues form quickly and get long at Chao.
Speedy servers dish up a range of Vietnamese classics including pho, congee, banh mis, bun cha and a selection of great looking summer and spring rolls. All for the wallet friendly price of £6.50 and under.
The pho broth is cooked for 8 hours and you can tell. It's light but jam-packed with flavour, smacks of authenticity, and is addictive. You can get it with a variety of toppings; the BBQ pork had an intense smoky flavour, accounting for around 50% of my huge pot, and was £6 (the beef or chicken are 50p less). If you think you might still be peckish after, order a couple of their big summer rolls and you can't go wrong.
Even before I took my second bite, I'd committed to returning soon, if only to try the chargilled chicken pho, which was calling my name. Breakfast congee at Chao's anyone?! Note: minimum card spend £6.
Words and photography | Ed Tan
154 Whitecross Street EC1Y 8JL
Mon - Fri | 11.30am - 4pm
Website | chaokitchen.com
Tel | +44 (0)20 7253 8854
Last updated | 11th July 2016