Restaurant review: Cay Tre
I visited Cay Tre upon a friend’s recommendation when I had only been in London for about a month. It was only the second time I had been to Soho, but I was already in love with all the eateries we passed along the way, including Yalla Yalla, which we had discovered a couple of weeks earlier (review to follow). As we walked into the restaurant, we were greeted by a sumptuous whiff of Vietnamese food and a friendly waiter who showed us to our table. Despite the slight draught fluttering around our table, the friendly atmosphere as well as the big bottles of sriracha and hoi sin sauce on the table made us feel comfortable.
I had never eaten Vietnamese food before, and so I was excited to try a new cuisine. The items on the menu sounded familiar, but they each had a twist. Vermicelli with prawns and… knotweed? Roasted mackerel… in banana leaf with turmeric?
I chose the Lang Son spinning roast pork belly, stuffed with curry leaves, and my companion opted for the lamb neck red curry with okra and aubergine. Whenever I’ve had pork belly up until now, the flavour has been slightly sweet, but this was bursting with a multitude of flavours due to the curry leaves and other spices. The lamb was beautifully tender, and the combination with okra and aubergine was unusual, but faultless. We shared a starter of barbecued ribs, which were perfectly done and not too sticky. The cocktail I chose, Em Oi Fizz, tasted fresh and not too sweet, which is exactly what I look for in a drink.
The quality of food at Cay Tre is superb, and the corresponding prices are fair. I enjoyed it so much that I took my flatmate there not too long after, and chose it as the venue for my first team lunch in March. I had different dishes every time, and each one was as delicious and perfectly prepared as the next. The ones I have sampled include the Spring Bowl, Vietnamese fried rice, Chef Vinh’s beef, the rice noodle rolls and many more – based on this, you can be assured that anything you order will be superb. Cay Tre also fit each of the occasions I needed it for: a casual dinner with friends, a romantic evening, and a business lunch. Any eatery that multifunctional deserves a place at the top of my list!
Cay Tre offers a lunch menu: 1 side and 1 main for 10£ – incredible value with 7 items each (including their signature Pho) to choose from!