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Sunday, 5 August 2012

Sông Quê

Vietnamese food is not a type of food I eat very often. Our local take-away is more Thai/Chinese, so going to Sông Quê was something a bit different, which is always nice. It sits on the Kingsland Road near a few other Vietnamese places and when you walk in it isn't much to look at. The décor is sort of canteen - like and there isn't a lot of atmosphere, BUT the food here is just incredible.   

We had a lot of food (as usual) - fresh herbs and king prawns wrapped in sticky rice paper with a hot and sweet dipping sauce and an insanely good crispy squid cooked with spring onions, chilli and garlic. 

The spring rolls were sensationally good (especially for something deep fried which can normally be a bit stodgy). The batter was light and crunchy, and the filling; fresh and colourful with an intense garlic aroma and a subtle heat.
The chicken satay was rich with peanut flavour and lovely and buttery. Yum, yum, yum. This dish was more heavy compared to the lightness of the others we tried (but still great). The mains were served with white sticky rice, and sizes were very generous - always good for those with a hearty appetite!

Sorry about the picture here! Bit blurred in my hurry to continue eating, but this garlic, ginger and chilli chicken was just sublime. Nice and fragrant, with no hint of heaviness or grease you can find in some Asian cooking. Sông Quê has a lot of influence of North and South Vietnamese food, with a mixture of beautifully delicate seafood, and more hearty beef and chicken dishes typical in the colder Northern regions, so there is a lot to choose from. It's not expensive either - for £20 per head you can fill your boots (you may need new boots afterwards though). 

For my main course I opted for Crispy Seabream, served on a bed of crunchy raw vegetable salad, with coriander and a chilli sauce. The colours of the dishes make them really visually stimulating as well as tasting amazing, without being unhealthy - bonus! 
I'd definitely recommend going - the atmosphere doesn't say "first date" particularly, but perhaps a third or fourth. I've only been once, and loved it, but I've read that the service can be a little grumpy sometimes. But with food this good, who the hell cares if your waiter doesn't gush all over you?! In fact, I think I might prefer it. 

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