The Vietnamese are something I don’t really know much about. Foodwise I know they’re big into their broths, and they use Herbs like we would use vegetables; I know I used to work with one of the most awesome Web Designers who is Vietnamese; I know there was a war there in the 70s that inspired the amazing film “Good Morning Vietnam”, along with the fabulous Robbin Williams yelling “Goooooooooooood Morning Vietnam”…. but that’s about the extent of my knowledge.
So when there was a new Vietnamese stand at the awesome Enfield Market; I decided to check it out.
The general options are a Pho (Pronounced Foe, as in ‘Fee Fy Fo Thumb’), which is a Soup. ‘Bahn Mi‘ (Like a north londoner, who drops their Ds, saying “Band Me”), which is a small baguette. And finally there are ‘Bün‘ (which I guess is pronounced Bun), which is a Noodle Salad.
Then on them, you can get Crack Crack Pork Belly, which i’ve not had; Saigon BBQ Pork, which is beyond deliciousness; Tender Grilled chicken, which i’ve not tried; Hanoi Sizzling Fish, which is a sort of really delicate fish with Dill, which you don’t really see in Asian cooking in my experiance. And finally, there’s Home Made MOM’s Tofu, which looked great.
All of these have been marinaded on their respective marinades to within an inch of their life; in a delicious way.
Sauces / Bits
There is the very vogue Saracha sauce on the table; A very nice garlic and chilli Vinaigrette (not too hot at all); and a BBQ Sauce. I ask for extra of these. They are also served with crushed up peanuts and crispy fried shallots, and I always ask for extra of these.
Crispy Fried Spring Rolls
These are really really strange to me. I can’t describe the ‘pastry’ that they’re wrapped in. They’re super cripsy, and almost like a netting. But I really recommend picking some of these up, along with a side of that vinaigrette. I struggled to photo these, because I kept on having one more bite and one more bite, and before I knew it; they were gone.
The noodles are a bit different to what i’m used too, there is a slight al-denté plasticly quality to them, it’s not unpleasent; quite the oppersite, but they’re also not usual either. The noodles in the Pho (soup) are more flat, and the ones in the salad are more round.
I’m sorry, this is so rude, I forgot their names. They’re super friendly and super proud of their food (as the should be). When I buy my food from them, I generally like to take it home so I can take my time over eating it. They normally insist that I eat it straight away, they don’t even like me taking it away from the market incase it doesn’t translate well when I get back (it does though; a few hours later is fine)…
They even made up nice little pots for me separating out the salad from noodles, and broth from broth-stuff, so it doesn’t get soggy whilst I get home; along with little written notes telling me how long to microwave this, and when to add that.
General (about the food)
I love the way everything tastes really really fresh. I don’t mean that in a “Fish just caught today” type way, but in a way that they use Herbs to their full advantage. I know it sounds silly, but it’s like everything has come straight from the garden. The maraonds are delicous too, they’re sweet in a good way. If they had a restaurant up in JustEat, I think it would do well. There isn’t a Vietnamese Resturant in the area; I’d love one.