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Exquisite Vietnamese worth going seemingly out of the way for
Family-run southern Vietnamese restaurant — Chinese-born mother in kitchen with two kindly Chinese/Korean sons (Vu and Chris Nim) also cooking her recipes and running the operation, plus many staff — serving what must be London's most seriously and consistently tasty Vietnamese soup, curries and noodle/rice dishes. Strong recommendations include starters such as banh cuon (rice-flour noodle packets filled with mushroom and pork), spring rolls (especially the vegetarian), summer rolls and the very filling sweet drink che (visually intriguing, good for sharing). Then exemplary main dishes such as rare beef pho (signature noodle soup dish, pronounced fuh, cooked for eight hours minimum and only by either the brothers or the mother) or its dry but yummy sibling pho kho (similar ingredients, small bowl of soup served on the side) or the rich and delicious chicken curry (made with free range chicken) or the pork belly. Formerly a hole-in-the-wall corner spot a mile away in downbeat Deptford but now a tastefully simple, far larger room in a stand-alone brick structure, Cafe East is a rare thing indeed: ethnic food marked by subtle and rich flavours served in a buzzy/happy atmosphere, at conspicuously affordable prices. Tube station: Canada Water (Jubilee Line, just 13 minutes from Green Park), then a convoluted seven-minute walk to suburban-nowheresville-style ticky-tacky Surrey Quays Leisure Park (Odeon cinema, Hollywood Bowl, Pizza Hut, Frankie & Johnny's) with views of the Canary Wharf tower in the distance. Cafe East sits alone at the far end of the car park. Feels like a world away, but in reality easily accessible from central London. Closed on Tuesday. Sundays are ever so crowded. Warning: closes for nearly all of August.

Tags: $ - Budget, Vietnamese

100 Redriff Rd, Surrey Quays Leisure Park, Surrey Quays
London, England SE16 7LH

(020) 725-2121
Mon, Wed to Fri 11am—3pm, 5.30pm—10.30pm; Sat 11am—10.30pm; Sun noon—10pm


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  • May 2, 2016

    CKDexterHaven ·

    May 2, 2016

    Favourite pho full stop (including the dry pho). And the chicken curry. And the banh cuon etc.
    listerc ·

    May 1, 2016

    Favourite London Vietnamese, and not nearly as out of the way as it sounds.
    first review First to Review

  • May 1, 2016

  • DavidOPerson is now a fan

    February 28, 2014