I'm eating around the world without leaving London and this week I had Vietnamese food at Song Que Cafe in shoreditch. I had my mind set on coming to Kingsland road as I'd seen he numerous Vietnamese restaurants lining the pavement many times before. With these series I finally had to go and try one.
I'd taken quite a big group to tag along on this occasion which got me worried whether they'd be able to seat all of us. But worried I needn't have been. The first row of Vietnamese restaurants were completely empty with the staff looking at us invitingly to come in. I didn't want to settle for any old one so we kept walking.
My friend Megan who used to live in the area said there was one particular one that was good an pretty popular since it had been featured in Time Out. Which was Song Que. At first glance it doesn't look like much. It's actually rather cheap looking with unflattering lighting, cheap furniture and paper table cloths. They were very accommodating to seat a group of 9 and started pushing tables together for us. so that balanced out the aesthetics.
We got settled in with some cool Saigon beers which was a welcome refreshment from the hot weather outside. Although the AC inside Song Que was almost blowing us out the door.
Then the food. It took me a while to pick a dish, but for starters I went with the fresh prawn spring rolls. You know the ones with lots of coriander and lettuce and wrapped in rice sheets.
My main was a pho which was filed with cooked pork, bean sprouts, spring onions, spinach, shrimp and noodles swimming around in a fragrant broth.
There were too many different dishes to show them all, but my friend Sandra, who was sitting next to me had a very spicy stir fry lots of seafood. bean sprouts and peanut crumbs sprinkled on top. I had a tiny forkful of the noodles, but I was on fire. It was tasty though.
We didn't have any desserts as we all had way too much to eat and needed to walk off the food. And also because there was a long queue giving us the evil eye and wanting us to leave them the table. Well, that's what happens to a place where the food is that good.