Juliette Wall the co-founder of Pho tells us about opening up at the new Westgate

It all started 12 years ago, when my husband and I quit our jobs, travelled to Vietnam on holiday and instantly fell in love with the people, the culture and the food.

Sat slurping pho on high stools among the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, we decided to open the UK’s first speciality Vietnamese street food restaurant back home in London.

Fast-forward to the present day and I can’t believe we have restaurants dotted all over the country. Now, Oxford has joined the family.

Pho is the Vietnamese national dish – pronounced ‘fuh’, unlike the restaurant which is Pho [foh]. It is a nutritious and delicious rice noodle soup full of fresh ingredients and either lean meat or veggies.

It is thought to originate from the northern Vietnamese city, Hanoi, and is sold largely by street vendors. Many believe the dish is a Vietnamese take on the French soup “pot au feu” or French beef stew, which the French brought to Vietnam when they ruled the country.

Often served with chicken (pho gà) or thinly sliced steak (Pho tái) in Vietnam, at Pho you can choose from a long list of about 20 variations of pho.

Whether you fancy tofu and button mushrooms (pho chay) or homemade beef meatballs (pho bò viên), there’ll be something to tuck in to. And for the chilli-heads, try one of our hot and spicy soups, originating from the Imperial city of Hue.

The wonder of pho – and the reason why we fell in love with the dish in the first place – is that every bowl eaten can be tailored to suit the mood and the unique taste of the consumer. It’s never boring. A huge plateful of fresh ingredients accompanies each bowlful to be added at intervals throughout the slurp-fest.

Customise and build your own taste-sensation by adding coriander, Thai basil, mint, a squeeze of lime, crunchy beansprouts and super-hot fresh chillies.

Then adapt your broth further by helping yourself to the range of table sauces: add Sriracha for a kick, fish sauce for extra saltiness or garlic vinegar for sourness. Don’t be shy!

Our menu also features other tasty Vietnamese street foods such as homemade spring and summer rolls, spicy salads, fragrant curries, wok-fried noodles and delicious drinks and desserts.

All the food at Pho is made with fresh ingredients at each branch every day. Our broths are a labour of love – they’re all made in-house and simmered for at least 12 hours to maintain optimum flavour and goodness.

What’s more, the entire menu caters for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free and if you fancy a night out on the tiles, you’re in luck. We do booze too. You’ve got to try our twist on a classic mojito, our Phojito!

What the pho? Now you know, we hope you’ll give us a go!