Viet Hoa Cafe – Shoreditch

As well as being home to London’s cool-kids, the bottom end of Kingsland Road in Shoreditch houses a veritable feast of Vietnamese food in the form neon-clad BYO cafes alongside more traditional restaurants. Thanks to various word-of-mouth recommendations, I became addicted to the spiced quail and Banh Xeo (crispy fried pancake filled with tofu, herbs and fresh bean sprouts) at the infamous Mien Tay, but was recently persuaded to stray a few doors down to Viet Hoa Cafe en route to The Marksman for A Fashionable Pub Quiz.

The first thing I noticed on entering Viet Hoa was how ‘nice’ it was. The decor in Kingsland Road’s best Vietnamese places, Mien Tay in particular, is somewhat makeshift, all focus and attraction on the places being the food, so the pale wood, long, streamlined benches and modern style left me feeling a bit suspicious.

One look at the menu and my mind was back at ease however. The selection of soups, salads and all manner of seafood, fish and vegetable dishes such as stir-fried tofu with pickled greens, and stewed fish with chilli and lemon grass was enticing, and all came in as cheaply as they would with the shabbier-looking neighbours.

With little time to leisurly work my way through a variety of dishes, I shared a  Bahn cuon (£4.75), a dish made up of steamed ho-fun, fresh mint, bean sprouts, chinese sausage and a light chilli dressing, followed by my own portion of Bun (£5.90), a spicy rice noodle soup topped with fried tofu.

As I dined at Viet Hoa during my vegetarian January, I avoided the sausage, but the crisp bean sprouts, zingy mint, and light, sticky, steamed ho fun with a sweet kick of chilli from the dressing, was delicious and almost refreshing.

I am a real sucker for a spicy noodle soup, so the Bun was a natural choice.  The stock had just the right level of heat and was non-greasy, with fresh coriander adding further flavour while beansrouts added crunch. The tofu was fried to crispy on the outside, soft on the inside perfection, and soaked up all the delicious flavours of the soup without becoming soggy.

I couldn’t resist dousing my soup in the hoi-sin sauce sitting on the table, but the flavour of the soup was robust enough not to be overpowered by the delicious sauce.

Only £10 out of pocket, I left Viet Hoa already looking forward to my next visit.

(excuse the shit quality of the pictures. My Blackberry was all I had to take them!)

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2 Responses to “Viet Hoa Cafe – Shoreditch”

  1. Viet Hoa – Part Two « Feast on Scraps Says:

    […] Hoa on Kingsland Road for some essential brain-food. I had been hankering for a return visit since my last trip, and Iso was feeling ill and in need of some medicinal hot and sour soup, so anywhere else was […]

  2. Mien Tay – Kingsland Road « Feast on Scraps Says:

    […] Tay – Kingsland Road By laurafleur I’ve mentioned my love of Mien Tay on here before, and it certainly seems to be the people’s choice of Kingsland Road’s veritable […]

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