I really hate the term “Hidden Gem”. It is used by middle Englanders about the lovely trattatoria that they “discovered” in Chiantishire last August, which only the locals know about. As if the locals hadn't discovered it perfectly well by themselves thank you very much. Alas, I can think of little other way to describe Pham Sushi. It is a hidden gem.
Well, it isn't really that hidden, but it is in the middle of Whitecross Market, which doesn't boast the most original of restaurants. There are some wonderful falafal, Indian and BBQ stalls in the market itself, but, other than Alba (which I haven't been to, but am told is pretty good), there is little that stands out in this side street, running north from the Barbican underpass.
It is, however, a gem: not as polished as others, maybe, but perfectly classy. The fish is good and fresh, with more modern takes on sashimi than most of the other, more traditional City Japanese, but with the classic staples there too for the less adventurous. The rock shrimp tempura is not as good as the Nobu version, but still perfectly servicable. The Bento boxes at lunch are enormous, and good value at around the £15-16 mark.
Well worth the stroll north out of the CIty, or south down from the more trendy Hoxton area.