If you’re looking for an affordable and simple Vietnamese dining experience, look no further. Cafe East’s location may not be that desirable but the menu delivers honest and simple cuisine from southeast Asia.
Cafe East’s exterior looks a bit like a factory with the light brick and blue-framed windows. There’s also a huge deck with plenty of tables for alfresco dining, although it unfortunately overlooks a car park. There’s nothing fancy or complicated about the decor of Cafe East; it’s almost sterile but at the same time it’s very clean, bright and pleasant. It’s simple to the extreme with bare white walls, light wood tables and chairs, and some exposed brick columns. It almost feels like a school cafeteria but the difference is that it serves authentic Vietnamese food.
Staff are friendly and willing to accommodate you, whether it be to explain items on the menu or deal with special dietary needs. Cafe East seems to appeal to people who know authentic Vietnamese food well along with people looking for something other than a typical takeaway.
Cafe East’s menu includes starters (£4 - £5), mains (soups from £6 - £7) vermicelli noodles (£6 - £7), rice, Cafe East Ragu and desserts. Vegetarians are only presented with two choices so this might not be the best place to for you if you don’t eat meat. Bun Bo Hue (£6.50) is a hearty bowl of vermicelli rice noodles with beef brisket in spicy soup. The broth is full of rich, meaty flavour which goes well with all the spices and fresh vegetables, pretty much every food group combined into one meal. Com Curry (£6.50) combines spicy chicken curry with potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots in coconut cream, an interesting take on chicken curry that’s both sweet and savoury at the same time. The spice of the curry is wonderfully balanced out by the creamy and cooling effects of coconut cream.
Cafe East has no bar and you’re not allowed to bring your own alcohol but there are plenty of beverages to quench your thirst. You can choose from homemade iced coffee, herbal tea, coconut juice, homemade soya milk, fresh juices and sodas, all priced at around £2 to £3.
The Last Word
Cafe East serves true Vietnamese food. This is no doubt what a simple dinner would be like at a local restaurant in Vietnam.