134A Kingsland Road,
Few posts from me of late. I’m not losing the bug, but it’s a busy time (as ever). It’s also an exciting time as I’m looking into a move south of the river. I know!
One more to add to the slowly expanding list of Bún Thịt Nướng Chả Giò reviews I’ve got to my name and another from Kingsland Road. Anh Dao – our usual place – was queuing out of the door so we pushed north buoyed by the cold, and a wish to sit down at a table with under 5 minutes wait time. Cu Tu was as packed as everywhere else, but a couple of tables looked to be clearing out so we shot in. It’s a small place inside, dominated by its red theme and as soon as we entered, we could feel the great atmosphere sweep over us.
I’m relieved to say Cu Tu still allows BYOB – something changing at some Kingsland Road joints – a great start. There was never any doubt over what we were going to order so as soon as we’d sat down we ordered with the friendly waiter as soon as he’d popped the tops from our beers.
When it comes to Bún Thịt Nướng Chả Giò I’m biased. Biased in the sense that I love it all.
All of the variations, differences and fluctuations between the constituent elements which pull together to create dishes which are practically identical yet subtly different.
Cu Tu’s grilled pork had been cut smaller meaning that the meat does not have the opportunity to fully caramelise before being transferred to the serving dish. Their spring rolls had great crispy shells about the thickness of a finger or medium cigar. To my own preference they could be slightly thicker in order to stop the contents from becoming too cooked. The freshness of the contents is key to building the spring roll’s crunch. I was pleased to see the nuoc cham served on the side. Dousing the noodles in this accompanying sauce is a key part of the theatricality of the dish.
Both salad and noodles were well executed and overall it was a strong dish, though not my favourite in town.
I’ve stumbled across another reason for loving this dish. Every version perfectly fills you up, and is great preparation for a night on the tiles, yet the dish’s freshness ensures you’re not so full as to have to make an early trip home to sleep it off. It’s a fulfilling guilt free dinner!
I’ll keep the menu reference at the end of each of these posts updated to record the hierarchy of my classification. Unfortunately Cu Tu’s online menu does not feature the dish (it’s definitely on their printed menu in-house) so I can’t update the menu number. If I go back, I’ll write it down and keep you updated.
Bún Thịt Nướng Chả Giò menu reference:
Anh Dao No. 52
Song Que Café No. 59 (Bún Chả Giò Bi Thịt Nướng = Song Que Café No. 60).
Cu Tu No. TBC