Personally, I think Birmingham gets a bad rep.
I mean yeah, sure it has its not-so-nice parts but doesn’t every city?
I realised when I hopped off the train at Birmingham New Street the other day that I’d actually kind of missed the accent. I know. Crazy.
But, then again, it was the place I called home for the majority of the twenty-three years that I have so far spent on this planet.
And we should also take into consideration that I spent about 98.2846238742% of my post-uni/pre-travel time in Birmingham City Centre sippin’ Chai Lattes and giving a fair bit of money to Topshop. Because, I really did need that top that I wore once to take travelling with me. Like, really needed it.
Now however, I have a new favourite pastime to partake in when I visit my old home town. I say pastime but it may be more of a ritual. Does it count as a ritual if you’ve only done it twice?
For those of you who live in the Midlands (and for those who don’t listen up) you’ll most probably be aware that Birmingham New Street Station has just had a rather swish refurb and now has a swanky new area called Grand Central. You seriously can’t miss it. It’s all white and bright with heaps of good shops and restaurants.
It also happens to be the perfect spot to meet up with the gal you travelled the world with over a steaming bowl of pho. Or fur if we are pronouncing our words correctly.
The oh so creatively named Pho Café is a family-run business that has been going for ten years now. It specialises in serving Vietnamese street food including, of course, Vietnam’s national dish: pho.
Pho is basically a noodle soup. No, scrap that. It’s THE MOST AMAZING noodle soup you will ever taste. Like, pho real. Pho, really. See what I did there?
As we were reminiscing about our time spent travelling through Vietnam we felt it was only appropriate to order some goi cuon and cha gio to start a.k.a both rice paper and crispy spring vegetable rolls. It totally would have been rude not to.
And let us not forget the apple, mint and lime juice I had there. So. Fresh.
I have to say that my pho ga was basically as tasty as the one I had at Five Oysters – the restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City where I first fell in love with the dish. I say basically because I don’t think it could ever be quite be the same as the first time I tried it but darn, it comes close.