A delicious cocktail of sights and smells bombards your senses when you enter Leeds’ Trinity Kitchen street food centrepiece.
Pretty much everywhere you turn you can see a different style of casual cuisine that takes your fancy, but knowing quite where to visit in this ever-changing dining merry-go-round is sometimes the most difficult choice.
From Mexican-style burritos and Indian veggie eats to fresh-baked pizza and mouth-watering ribs, Trinity Kitchen has created a street food hub for other cities to aim for since opening in 2013.
Vietnamese street food kitchen Pho is one of the first eateries to catch the eyes and nose with its red, neon-clad kitchen and Far Eastern aroma on your left as you walk in.
Stooled seating is the first thing you’ll clap your eyes on before the Pho kitchen itself, and there is further seating on the other side featuring quirky green plastic chairs although you can pretty much sit anywhere in Trinity Kitchen.
The food offer at Pho is helpfully simplistic. Clear menus give you the traditional Vietnamese name succinctly explained in English.
You can expect oriental salads, dishes featuring vermicelli or wok fried noodles, as well as noodle-based or spicy soups and specials. There are also Vietnamese curry dishes served with traditional broken rice and a handful of starters such as spring rolls, crispy chicken wings, prawn crackers and fried baby squid.
The wide variety of light main dishes are available with meat or seafood including chicken, beef, pork and king prawns, while there are plenty of veggie options with some centred around tofu. Most mains are £6 to £7.50.
Drinks-wise there are fresh juices, hot and soft drinks including homemade lemonade, as well as a trio of native beers and a small selection of wines.
You order at the kiosk and then take away a vibrating alarm that reminds you that your order is ready for collection.
I opted for the £6.25 pork and lemongrass meatball ‘Bun’ salad featuring vermicelli rice noodles, a lemongrass and chill wok-fried topping served with herbs, beansprouts and crunchy peanuts.
Crammed with fresh lettuce, carrots and beansprouts, the dish had a textured crunch and sharp, acidic taste that came together beautifully around the soft noodles and flavour-packed meatballs.
With a freshly made coconut, pineapple and apple juice, the meal came to £9.20. Pho’s street food was promptly served and full of intense flavour. It was both filling and light.
Trinity Kitchen is hugely varied in terms of vendors but Pho is a healthy gem within it.