Ms B & I try to go to church every Sunday when we’re in London. (I’m not religious, but I like the people, their values, and the charity work.) We usually make our way to Holy Trinity Brompton by tube, then walk back home on a detour via King’s Road, often stopping for a quick bite along the way. Each and every time, we pass by Phat Phuc, a street food stall or hut with plenty of seating in a gazebo just opposite the stall’s front. It ranks #30 out of 1,650 quick bites in London on Tripadvisor and received a Certificate of Excellence.
I remember us having lengthy conversations about the rude name (‘ph’ is pronounced ‘f’ in anglicised Vietnamese, as you probably know) and how awkward it must be for a chubby person to be the first one to arrive at the restaurant and then have to text his buddies how to get to the Phat Phuc from the tube station). Phat Phuc means ‘happy Buddha’ in Vietnamese and is a common name given to Vietnamese restaurants. A few years ago the UK’s advertising watchdog completed an investigation into this name in relation to another restaurant (news article here).
For some reason we never managed to stop for a meal. Last Sunday we finally did. The guys at the stall are super-quick, so despite the fact that there were eight or nine people ahead of us in the queue, we only waited a couple of minutes before our orders were taken.
There were people sitting at every single table, even though it was already two o’clock, quite late for lunch. So we asked a young couple who sat at a table for four if we could sit down next to them at their table, and they said yes.
Five minutes later Ms B’s beef pho and my chicken laksa arrived. Just from looking at the two dishes we immediately knew that it had been the right decision to come here. The Thai basil smelled so beautiful and strong, the chicken and beef looked like they were going to melt on your tongue. We did find the seasoning a bit too weak for our taste, but after a generous helping of hot chilli sauce from the little rack on our table the taste was just perfect.
For a mere £8.50 we got a solid fill. We’ll stop by here more often. 5 out of 5 in our book.