Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cay Tre Vietnamese Restaurant, London

Being in London can be too much. As you wander around, you pass restaurant after restaurant. It's a standing joke between the pair of us that we usually manage to fit in 4-5 square meals a day when in London.

There's a heavy concentration of Vietnamese restaurants near Shoreditch and we noticed that Cay Tre on Old Street regularly had punters queueing outside the door. So on Saturday night, we rocked up, willing to wait as long as necessary. We were greeted quickly and given menus to read while waiting but we were quickly seated downstairs in the bustling restaurant.

For starters, we ordered a bowl of the traditional soup Pho (with chicken) which turned out to be light, clear and fragrant. Our other starter, Cha ca La Vong, or La Vong grilled fish comes as a minimum for two and consists of sliced monkfish, marinated in galangal, saffron and flavoured with rice ferment. It was grilled at our table by our friendly waiter and served with a pungent mix of rice vermicelli, pimento, ground nuts, fennel, and shrimp sauce.

For mains we chose Ga Ro Ti (Vietnamese Chicken Royale) a roasted, portioned chicken, with deliciously crispy skin served on salad with a delicious soy sauce dressing. Vit ca ri turned out to be a succenlent dark duck coconut curry where the meat literally fell off the bone.

We rolled out of the restaurant full of new flavours and in love with a new cuisine, so much in love that we returned the next day for lunch! This time the restaurant was much quieter, but still turning over.

My starter this time was Banh Goi or Hanoi Pillow Crispy Dumplings. These were deliciously crispy, meaty dumplings served with a tangy dipping sauce.

The other starter of Goi Cuon, or fresh soft summer rolls with king prawns consisted of soft rice rolls stuffed full of fresh salad veg and herbs along with a row of plump, juicy king prawns and served with a hoisin-type sauce.

For mains, I chose the temptingly-named Bo Quanh Lua Hing, or Campfire Sirloin Steak. This consisted of thinly sliced beef marinated in oyster sauce, cooked and served in a porcelain pot. Luon Rang Sa Ot was grilled basa fish seared with lemongrass and tumeric. The pieces of fish were dry fried and flavoursome and completely different to anything I've tasted before.

In total, the two meals along with drinks cost around 90 pounds. Absolutely delicious food, with fantastic flavours in a bustling spot.

Cay Tre, 301 Old Street, London EC1V 9LA. +44 (0)20 7729 8662

No comments

© Stitch and Bear | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Developed by pipdig