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Friday, September 3, 2010

Vietnamesie in Hoxton

Summer rolls with king prawns
Pomelo salad with grilled shrimps and knotweed
Cha ca la vong grilled fish, cooking at the table
Cha ca la vong grilled fish, prepared with vermicelli
Green mango seabass
Duck curry
Coconut Vietnamese chicken curry
LOCATION: Cay Tre, 301 Old Street, London
CATEGORY: Vietnamese
DRINK: "Goats do Roam", South African white (what an awful name)
WE THINK: Cay Tre is usually a decent pick for Vietnamese food in the area around Kingsland Road and it's probably safe to say that the total number of visits we have paid to this place runs into the high double-digits. Beware, though, that depending on how busy it is / how late you get there, some of the premade food (such as the summer rolls and pre-cut veggies) can be fairly sad looking / tasting. This evening, the first pair of summer rolls we were served tasted like a used, damp mop (Cay Tre itself actually smells a bit like a used, damp mop) and disintegrated as we tried to separate them. The waiter acknowledged that they weren't fresh and brought out another plate of summer rolls, noting that he wasn't sure whether they were any fresher. Highlights this evening were the pomelo salad and green mango seabass - both really yummy.
OUR TIP: If left with a choice, opt for Cay Tre instead of the fancier (they have a large salt-water aquarium, the interior looks like a Habitat showroom and there are lots of after-work City colleague group dinners) sister restaurant, Viet Grill, on Kingsland Road. The menus are nearly identical, but the portions at Viet Grill are smaller and the service not as efficient. Oh, and the Bun Sa at Cay Tre is always good.

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