Cafe East

100% love it
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). Followed by 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 or the Vietnamese-flavoured beef stew. 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, and relatively affordable (prices went up markedly post-pandemic, but it's still great value). 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 (and closed from 4pm to 5pm). Warning: closes for nearly all of August.
  • 100 Redriff Rd, Surrey Quays Leisure Park, Surrey Quays
    London, England SE16 7LH
  • Southeast
  • Website
  • Mon, Wed to Fri 11am—3pm, 5.30pm—10.30pm
    Sat 11am—4pm, 5pm—10.30pm
    Sun noon—4pm, 5pm—10pm
  • +44 20 7252 1212
  • Report Incorrect Info / Closed


    • CKDexterHaven
      CKDexterHaven Over a year ago
      Loves it

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

    • listerc
      listerc Over a year ago
      Loves it

      Favourite London Vietnamese, and not nearly as out of the way as it sounds.