Sunday, December 11, 2011

Vietnamese eateries in London: Keu!, BanhMi11, Ca Phe, Mama Pho & Pho (Part 2)

I was dragged (willingly) to Keu! when SC heard about it and what else would we try but their classic bahn mi. Of course, we were greedy and ordered some others to try to.

Classis Banh Mi £4.5
Classic Banh Mi £4.5
The classic Banh Mi comprises of a baguette with spiced belly of pork, ham terrine and chicken liver pate. Add in some herbs and sliced chilies, cucumber to add a refreshing balance and you are set! The pate was smooth and creamy and each meat portion were beautifully balanced yet definable. The baguette itself though apparently not exactly the same you get from vietnam according to Bootylicious was still good enough for me. We were both happy eating away.

Pork meatballs and mushroom on rice £5.5
Pork meatballs and mushroom on rice £5.5
We just couldn't resist ordering this too and the meatballs tasted very home made with a tender and soft texture. The duck rolls and prawn salad were satisfying snacks/sides.

Will I recommend: Yes
Will I come back: Yes
Have I had better: Yes

Keu!, 332 Old St, HackneyUK EC1V

Kêu! on Urbanspoon

Banh Mi 11

I finally made my way to Broadway market and went straight to BanhMi11 on the recommendation of friends. An order of the Quad Meat Special was made which comprises of Pate, BBQ Pork, Roast Pork, Pork Ham in Banana Leaf, and Chicken Ham.

I really liked the baguette which had a nice crunchy exterior though my companion thought it was too crunchy. The filling although good, I thought lacked the freshness and taste that comes from the herbs and pickled vegetables. 

In contrast, I thought the filling from the Ca Phe store a few steps away was better.

Will I recommend: Yes
Will I come back: Yes
Have I had better: One of the better ones in London

BanhMi11, Broadway Market London E8 4HP

Bánhmì11 on Urbanspoon

Ca Phe
Imagine holding a Banh Mi from BanhMi11 in hand while walking through Broadway Market and suddenly I stopped in my tracks as I come across another stall that sells Banh Mi. My mind was racing as I was trying to find traces of anything that my friend told me as to which stall it was that she and her hubby recommended. I couldn't find anything and was standing there, confused and not sure what to do. Thankfully, my friend who was with me came to my rescue and said, 'we can't have you not trying both in case you might have bought from the wrong place'.

So we walked to Ca Phe and ordered a banh mi from here too. As I mentioned earlier in the post, I prefer the filling here as there was a better balance and contrast of the meat to vegetables filling, though I prefer the baguette from BanhMi11.

Will I recommend: Yes
Will I come back: Yes
Have I had better: One of the better ones in London

Ca Phe, Broadway Market, London E8 4HP

Ca Phé on Urbanspoon

Mama Pho
Finally, I was excited to head to Mama Pho which used to be the old site of Cafe East. Within days of being told this, I was too excited to wait and so I roped in Ms. Black to come with me on a random evening. We arrived to a small unassuming corner eatery and was greeted by a really friendly waitress. She gave us the menu and we started the discussing what we were going to order. 

We both decided to get the pho £6.50 and the Banh Xeo £7

The Banh Xeo is delicious. The batter is light, crispy and crunchy, I think easily the best that I've had in London. We were so enamoured that we ate it by itself and forgot about the lettuce wrapping till halfway through. 

With happy smiles on our faces, the two friendly waitresses who works there came with our pho next. I was salivating and couldn't wait to dig in. The broth was good with the version from Cafe East only edging it to be better as this one lacked that slight depth to round out the flavour and balance. 

We left paying £10 each for our meal, excellent value I say. 
Will I recommend: Yes
Will I come back: Yes
Have I had better: This is my top two in London

Mama Pho, 24 Evelyn Street, LondonSE8 

Mama Pho on Urbanspoon

Pho, Soho
I dropped by at Pho in Soho with Ms. Chocoholic for a quick bite before we had to rush off for other activities. 

No guessed that we ordered the classic Pho Tai £7.95. The first hit was a complexity of different herbs and spices that were amazing but after that, they seem to meld into an ending note where they seem to battle each other and tasted weird. I was definitely not keen on polishing off the soup at the end. Very much a anglo-sized version which will not please those who are looking for the real thing. 

Pho Tai

Did I mention that the service was quite bad too? The staff were happily huddling away in a corner chilling out instead of paying attention to the diners. 

Pho Soho, 63-165 Wardour Street, Soho W1F 8WN

Will I recommend: No
Will I come back: No
Have I had better: Yes

Pho on Urbanspoon


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