Warm yourself with authentic Vietnamese pho soup noodles and curries at this BYO cafe, close to Brighton railway station.
Brrr it’s a bit nippy out there isn’t it? Muddy Norfolk tells me she has snow already!
If your thoughts are turning to comfort food and you are in or visiting Brighton, here’s my tip for authentic Vietnamese pho noodles, and it’s right near the station.
Head down the underpass into Trafalgar Street and just a few doors down is Milk No Sugar cafe. As the name suggests, it serves regular fare like baguettes, toasties and good coffee, but like all good superheroes it has a secret after-dark identity.
Well secret-ish, I mean you can get in without descending into a bat cave, but if you haven’t spotted the sign in the window you may not have discovered that it’s open till 8.00pm on weekdays (7.00pm Sats) and for a couple of hours before it closes it’s more of a noodle bar as people tuck into a range of cheap and warming Vietnamese dishes with BYO booze.
Hot dishes are actually available all day but really hit the spot if you’re heading off to a gig or the cinema (Komedia is just a few streets away) or waiting for a train.
Now I’ve eaten pho soup noodles (pronounced ‘fuh’) in Vietnam and let me tell you, this is the real deal.
You choose beef, pork, chicken or veg (which has deep fried tofu) and between wheat or rice noodles, then you pick a bowl size. I sometimes go for the medium at £5.50 but mostly the large for £8.50 which allows you to choose two ingredients as I like to mix up chicken and veg.
Certain sizes of the Pho are also available as a takeaway. You can also get a great curry which sadly is out of my heat range though my other half loves it. I’ve yet to try the rice pots and steamed shrimp pancakes.
Of course, famous Vietnamese spring rolls – or ‘summer rolls’ as they are called here are also on the menu. Those really fresh beauties with chopped coriander and a chilli dipping sauce are perfect for warmer months. I actually prefer them to cooked spring rolls as they’re not greasy.
You can also get your coffee the Vietnamese way – filtered into a glass of condensed milk – which is fun to watch if you can handle the big sugar hit! Vietnam is the world’s second largest coffee exporter after Brazil so they know a thing or two about their beans.
The cafe is really friendly – it’s actually a designated ‘happy cafe’ – part of the Action for Happiness – and it’s my go-to place for a pre-gig bite in Brighton or if I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself with a cold. Beats Lemsip anyway!
Milk No Sugar, 68 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4EB, cafemilknosugar.com