As you might have gathered from previous posts, I was in Vietnam in April – larking about and eating as much as I could. My love affair with Vietnamese food started long before that, when I first tasted beef wrapped in betal leaf at Song Que on the Kingsland Road about four years prior, but obviously going to the mother country of this herbal and flavourful food just fed the obsession. It’s just so bloody good – the fresh herbs, the umami-packed nuoc mam (fish sauce), the ubiquitous use of pig, the crispy fried shallots… Someone get the girl a bowl of pho!
Which makes me all the more pleased that the food over here is really gaining some momentum. East London’s Kingsland Road has become a thriving enclave of Vietnamese cuisine, with atmospheric, Vietnamese-run restaurants such as Song Que, Mien Tay and Tay Do Cafe serving authentic, fresh and delicious food. Places like Pho are opening it up to the masses, and Banh mi (Franco-pork baguette) has taken off in a big way since last year too (see the picture below of the lovely ladies at Banh Mi 11, Broadway Market).
And what’s more, editors are starting to pick up on it – hence the fact that the good people at The Times commissioned me to write a piece (it’s in today’s Table – you should sign up!) about the joys of Vietnamese street food in this country.
In light of that, I thought it would be a good opportunity to publish some of my yet-unseen pictures of food from my trip. Enjoy.