Tuesday, 18 January 2011

The Asian Cuisine Trip

Our very first trip to London in 2011 to meet my friend Stephanie. A trip to London will not be deemed complete without having nice cuisines.

This time, we went for Vietnamese and Korean food. Both distinctively different from each other but equally recognisable as Asian cuisine due to the well seasoned, full of flavours and spicy food. 

As we arrived in London, we headed to Surrey Quay near Canada Water for Vietnamese food at Cafe East. After some instructions from Stephanie which sounded a bit like 'turn right, go straight down to the end, turn left, go straight again then turn left .....', we eventually arrived at the restaurant.

Che Ba Mau
Che Ba Mau - a special three layered drink made of red kidney bean, green jelly and topped coconut cream over crushed ice. Looks sweet, refreshing and super yummy with so many different textures and flavours in a drink!

Goi Cuon
Goi Cuon - "Fresh rice flake summer roll with poached prawn, pork, herb salad and vermicelli rice noodles. Packed with Café East special peanut sauce." This kind of roll is very popular in Vietnamese cuisine and they come in many different forms with different wrappings and different stuffings.

The other roll we had was the Banh Cuon -"Famous Vietnamese steamed rice pastry filled with savoury Chinese mushroom and minced pork. Topped with meat loaf, poached bean sprouts and shallots. Served with Café east fish sauce."

The different ingredients used in the rolls give you different layers of flavour and texture with each bite you take. Each type of roll is paired with different special sauces and dipping the rolls into the sauces just enhances the taste of these rolls. I want to especially mention the crushed peanuts in the sauce gives a very nice fragrance to the dish.

Bun Ga Nuong
Bun Ga Nuong - "Warm Vermicelli rice noodles topped with herb salad, pickled mooly and carrots, peanuts and crispy chicken. Served with Café East fish sauce." The shredded vegetables which make the salad is not only very healthy but adds a very nice crunch to the whole dish. The chicken was very nicely fried with a crispy skin and succulent meat on the inside. The sauce was a little bit spicy for me but it adds taste to the rice vermicelli and complimented the whole dish well.

Bun Tom Hue
Bun Tom Hue-"Vermicelli rice noodle with juicy king prawns in spicy soup." True to its word in the menu, this soup is absolutely and totally spicy! Only the brave dare to tackle this soup!

My friends tried several different dishes which are all very delicious and authentic. Overall, nice experience in this restaurant with authentic vietnamese food with a very reasonable price. Highly recommended!

As for dinner, we ventured into Rayne's Park towards the South-west area of London. Though it does not look much from the outside, Cah Chi restaurant offers one of the best Korean cuisine in London and coupled with excellent customer service makes it a must to visit!

Variety of small dishes
The traditional Korean small dishes are always served before each meal. We had dried seaweed marinated in vinegar, spicy potato pieces, kim chi and roasted soya beans. All very nice and appetising, getting us ready for the meal ahead.

Plum wine

Fried dumpling

Seafood Pancake
We had the fried dumplings and the seafod pancake for starters. I want to specially mention the seafood pancake as it was really crunchy and fragrant. The combination of seafood pieces and chopped spring onions fried in egg and flour is just simply delicious.

Fried chicken in garlic and honey
Very crunchy fried chicken pieces served with chopped carrots, spring onions and onions then the sweetness of honey makes this a very mouth-watering dish!

Fried glass noodles with vegetables

Grilled mackerel
The mackerel was very fresh and well cooked. With a squeeze of lemon juice that brings out the 'sea-saltiness' of the grilled fish. Yum!

Korean BBQ
Korean cuisine is also famous for its BBQ. They don't just BBQ meat and serve them on their own, the meat is first cooked then dipped into special sauces and finally wrapped in lettuce leaves before being consumed.

Sauces for BBQ meat
Lettuce and spring onions

Strands of sliced spring onions were marinated in vinegar and some chopped chillies. These spring onions were put on a lettuce leaf. A piece of cooked BBQ pork belly was then dipped into the 'oily-looking' sauce then put on top of the spring onions. Then finally, we add a little bit of that red thick sauce - soy bean paste. The lettuce leaf was folded up then it is ready to be eaten.

BBQ pork belly on lettuce
The chargrilled flavour of the BBQ meat, the sour taste from the pickled spring onions, the saltiness of the sauce, the fragrance of sesame oil and the refreshing lettuce leaf makes this dish absolutely fantastict to eat!

All the above steps were done by the waitress, and that is what I call first class customer service!

Cold rice vermicelli

All mixed up
The cold rice vermicelli mixed with cucumber and special red sauce, served with a hard boiled egg. A little spicy but still quite a nice dish to have.


We also had another mixing dish called the 'Bibimbap' which basically means mixed rice. The rice was served in a stone bowl with sauteed and seasoned vegetable and chilly pepper paste, raw egg and strips of beef were also added on top of the dish. The whole thing was then mixed thoroughly while still hot. *Because the dish was mixed and served by the waiter, I couldn't get a photo of it.*

A very nice dining experience, well worth the trip and I will certainly go again!

No comments:

Post a Comment