122 Kingsland Road, E2 8DP
This was my first ever experience of a Vietnamese restaurant.
I’ve been to many Thai, Chinese and other oriental restaurants, but until that night I was a Vietnamese Virgin. I have a good group of experienced friends however to guide me through, some of who have Asian ancestry and have grown up on such food, so I trusted their suggestion of the choice of location.
Walking along this street in Shoreditch I noticed that it seemed to be a mini Vietnam haven. How to choose which one to go in? I had been recommended this place, but otherwise I would not be able to decide from the front.
Once inside we were seated at our pre-booked table and the giggling began. We all love our food, and we love to giggle about food, and thankfully this place is very accommodating. It was a cold snowy Wednesday night and very busy, I’m not sure if this was just due to it being the lead up to Christmas, or the popularity of the place.
For starters we had Vietnamese spring rolls- absolutely delicious, stuffed with vermicelli noodles, minced pork and mixed vegetables, wrapped in rice paper and deep-fried – not something I’d ever had before and they did not disappoint, accompanied with lightly picked carrot and cucumber and burdock leaf to wrap the rolls in if you so wished.
For main I decided on the Pho- rice noodle soup with sliced Beef and Brisket. I’d never heard of Pho before, but I was informed that it is a very complex broth that is made over the course of many hours. Accompanying the beef was a selection of vegetables – chilli, coriander, bean sprouts, which you drop as little or as much into your Pho. It was a hard choice as there was such a wide range of wonderful sounding dishes, but I was very happy with my selection- it was flavoursome without being too overpowering, and it was so very filling I struggled to finish it. We all shared and tasted each other’s dishes, and I would recommend any of the other dishes at the table- rice noodle and goat dish, rice noodle and seafood, goat with lemongrass ad chilli and a rice noodle and beef dish. All fantastic flavours and great portion sizes.
To end a fantastic evening was the surprise of the bill- although should not have been such a surprise- I had seen the menu when ordering. It came to £10 per head, which for the size of my belly afterwards, efficient service and lots of laughter you really can’t complain.