Wednesday, 4 April 2012

An Overdue Return to Song Que on the Pho Mile

I miss Vietnam. I have been thinking about this wonderful country for a while now. I want to return, but then again I want to return to a lot of places, but this weekend Vietnam had been playing on my mind.
It had been quite a while since our last visit to Song Que, and it was due a revisit. The reason for this is, as with most cities, too many choices to be had.
As I live at the other end of Kingsland Road in Stoke Newington, it’s a brisk walk that builds up your appetite.
I am a creature of habit sometimes, and I think I’ve only ever had the Pho in Song Que. It’s a dish that always brings back good memories when it’s a good one.
I remember the Pho’s on cold mornings in misty Hanoi, sitting on small plastic chairs in a concrete box, whilst the lady sat at the front dishing up bowl after bowl of fantastic beef soup.
The Pho’s in Saigon remind me of more communal eating. There was always more chatter in the southern restaurants than the north. But the southerners are a livelier bunch. Maybe the weather plays a part in this.
I really must order some different things when I goto a Vietnamese restaurant. But a starter of fresh summer rolls and a good bowl of Pho is always good.
No one on the Pho Mile seems to do a bad summer roll, which has led me in the past to believe that they buy them already made from one supplier. I know the sauce is not made in house, but a ready supplied one, but it is so bloody good, works perfectly with the rolls.
I was in a spicy mood today, so I opted for the Bun Bo Hue instead of my normal Pho Bo, and my partner opted for the classic Hanoi lunchtime dish of Bum Cha.
My Bun Bo Hue was pretty hot, even before I added the extra fresh chillis, but I love the aroma that the fresh ones bring to a dish. The inclusion of the mint always transports me back to Vietnam. It's a shame we cannot get the other Vietnamese herbs here in London. I'm sure there is someone who is growing them in their garden.
The stock was good and as I said a good amount of chilli in it to give me that feeling I enjoy so much. The meat was thinly cut and very juicy still. Well done boys. The only thing I didn’t like was the noodles. Fat tasteless buggers they were, and I don’t like plastic chopsticks, so my job of eating the noodles was doubly annoying. 
The Bum Cha what I had of it was pretty damn good. I’ve never had one here that reminded me of this super dish that we had on the streets of Hanoi, sitting on low low chairs in front of an even lower table. But it was pretty damn good.
Song Que is still doing good food, but maybe next time we will order something different from the menu. Maybe. But it's unlikely.
The meal just made me miss Vietnam a tad more. I've no idea when we will return, but I know when we do, we will eat well.

Song Que on Urbanspoon


Mr Noodles said...

This looks like quite an authentic bun bo hue, it isn't often you see a slice of Viet sausage thrown into the mix.

And yes, who hasn't been captivated by Vietnam when they've visited.

Mzungu said...

Mr N - Yup Vietnam does rock. I'm enjoying reading your posts on the country as well.