A new generation of Vietnamese cuisine awaits, finding refuge in the heart of Manchester’s bustling Chinatown. Home to many a Pan-Asian restaurant, bakery, bar – you name it – Chinatown is known as the third-largest Chinatown in Europe, and for good reason. It’s packed full of traditional eateries bringing the very best of Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Japanese grub and culture – but one restaurant that’s bringing the ‘traditional’ bang up to date? Pho Cue.
Boasting a tongue-in-cheek name (if you haven’t got it yet, think about it for a minute) and a menu of home-style dishes that would make owner and chef Cue Tran’s home country proud, the Longsight native (whose family hails from Vietnam) is bringing the bold flavours of Southeast Asia to the Rainy City – and trust us when we say, each dish is as hearty and welcoming as that feeling when you arrive home to your dog’s excessively wagging tail.
Covering all of the ‘expected’ dishes – summer rolls, pho, banh mi – Pho Cue has a way of both turning tradition on its head while retaining and honouring it, introducing fun twists on classic dishes such as the Vietnamese Tacos (a tasty twist on the Banh Xeo) and a Viet spin on the Japanese Katsu curry – made with a choice of chicken, duck, prawns or tofu, in contrast to Japan’s favoured breaded pork or chicken.
Practising his craft over the years with the help of both his father and grandfather – who have taught him much about the methods and flavours of Vietnamese cuisine – what Cue Tran has to offer is fully authentic Asian food free from “Brit-washing” and “Instagrammable” trends, with not a single chippy tea-inspired bao bun in sight. And as delicious as they are, thank God.
In a move that’s actually the complete opposite of most ‘trendy’ restaurants today, the vast majority of dishes served as Pho Cue are stewed, marinated, and lovingly tendered to for 24-hours, ensuring fresh, family-style dishes that never skimp on flavour – and therefore must never be eaten in a rush.
The restaurant, which can be found on Chinatown’s Faulkner Street offers a relaxed, yet stylish dining experience – with booth style seating that friends can share to enjoy a meal together while catching up, and modern touches such as botanical walls, neon lights, and – in true Manchester style – exposed white brick.
Pho Cue can be found at 52a Faulkner St, Manchester M1 4FH and is open Wednesday-Monday.