If I had to narrow it down to just one cuisine to eat for the rest of my days, I think it would have to be Vietnamese food. Growing up in Malaysia and Singapore until I hit my teens, it was always going to be Asia that had my
heart stomach, but Vietnamese cuisine has a delicacy about it that hits all the Asian food high notes but still having it’s own special set of flavours coming to life.
So when the girls got together for a catch up and I got to choose, I picked Vietnamese and since I wanted to go authentic, I opted to head to Pho Mile, a little corner on the Shoreditch/ Hoxton corner where Vietnamese restaurants are a-plenty. I hadn’t been to Cay Tre before although heard plenty of good reviews and best of all, we could book!
The interior is small but brightly painted with bamboo themed murals and although I didn’t make it downstairs, there were a fair few people being pointed to seats downstairs as well, so I imagine there’s space downstairs too. Despite booking, we still had to wait for 15 minutes as the place was packed!
All that waiting meant that by the time we got a seat, we were famished so proceeded to order at speed through the menu. That’s the sort of ordering I love and means you get to try loads of things!
Before every get together, at least one person claims they’re sticking to soft drinks but as is usual with us, about two minutes after sitting down, we’ve abandoned that plan and have ordered a bottle of Prosecco to complement our dinner. Now you see why I’m friends with these girls!
Hunger provided all the seasoning we needed and we dived in at high speed. The soft shell crab was so good we ordered up another plate and chopsticks were flying all over the table as we dipped in and out of the selection in front of us.
Personally, the Pho served up at Cafe East in Surrey Quays provides the gold standard in terms of pho-ness, but this one is pretty good!
There is something lacking for me and after some deliberation, I think Cay Tre lacks a bit of delicacy to the flavours, it’s delicious as is evidenced by our empty plates, but there’s a lack of freshness and feels more richly stodgy than I’d expect from Vietnamese food, especially for somewhere located in Pho Mile!
But for all that, it’s been the scene of an extremely fun girls night out! Do you have any recommendations for fabulous Vietnamese food in London?