Song Que, E2 8DY

  • 020 7613 3222
  • 134 Kingsland Road, E2 8DY (streetmap) (osm) (gmap) (bingmap) (streetview)
  • noon-3pm, 5:30pm-11pm Mon-Sat; noon-11pm Sun

One of the best Vietnamese restaurants on a street in Shoreditch filled with them.

Serves excellent pho (rice noodles in a broth with any combination of rare steak, well-done flank, beef tendon or beef tripe) and other authentic Vietnamese dishes for very reasonable prices. A bowl of pho is about £6.50, mains between £5 and £8.

claud has visited here about 30-40 times now. (My boyfriend lives 3 minutes walk away and we're there almost once a week.) If you're there for the first time, try the pho - the broth is so wonderfully made I feel like I'd have discovered the secret of the universe if they tell me what's in it. (Actually Rick Stein has a recipe in Food Heroes 2, but we'll ignore that.) Other favourites include rice vermicelli served with spring rolls, grilled and/or shredded pork. The vermicelli isn't warm, but it's more a salad than a noodle dish. The grilled pork is fantastic and if you don't fancy vermicelli try number 161: it's the same pork but with rice instead. Starters to try include bi cuon (rice paper rolls stuffed with prawn); they're light, fresh and taste like a salad in a roll. They also do lunch specials from Monday to Friday, rice and stir-fried meat/veg/etc. for under £5 or so. Decent quick food.

claud's verdict: One of my favourite restaurants (if not the favourite) in London, huge decorative plastic lobsters notwithstanding.

On Ewan's visit in April 2008, we were silently pointed to a table as soon as we entered and some prawn crackers were immediately brought out. The vegetarian spring rolls were wonderfully crispy and packed with flavour, and the pancake starter was remarkable, served with a leafy selection on the side. For mains, my friend's pho got a heartily positive review, while my vermicelli noodles with tofu was very good photo, though definitely needed the use of the accompanying sauces to enhance the flavour.

Note that londonelicious warns that they can be very keen to turn the tables, so it may not be the best bet for a very leisurely meal.

James eats here a lot as he lives quite close by. On every occasion, the food has been wonderful (I can particularly recommend 140 (Pho with rare steak and well done flank) and Betel beef (starter)). The service is less wonderful, however, varying massively from instant service to waiting 20 minutes just to have your order taken (there doesn't appear to be a strong correlation with busy-ness, however). If you do manage to get served before the slightly-less-good Pho next door appeals, the broth of the Pho is deliciously rich, the meat is good quality and the noodles and veg are flavourful. I would warn that the betel leaf beef does take a while to arrive (it'll be obvious why when you see it) so if you're in a rush, I'd advise just grabbing the Pho. Lots of people at London Hackspace (round the corner) recommend the soft shell crab, though I do not eat seafood so haven't tried it.

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Last visited by James March 2011. Opening hours taken from Time Out website, April 2008.

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OS X co-ord: 533492 OS Y co-ord: 183297 (Latitude: 51.532297 Longitude: -0.075210)
Last edited 2012-03-14 07:46:36 (version 34; diff). List all versions.