Bun Hue, Bahn Mi and Rolls – City Caphe, Cheapside

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I know this looks like a big lunch but I had a partner in crime for lunch today. Though I could happily finish everything if I wanted to!

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Was reading another food blog and there was a post about City Caphe which I realised is pretty close to where the Boom works while only a 15 mins walk across the bridge from me. When it comes to Asian food, Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Thai food are pretty well represented in the City but not Vietnamese. So City Caphe is a much needed find.

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When the Boom and I got to the place, the queue was about 15 deep but it moved pretty quickly and we both got our orders after 5 minutes. Not such a bad thing to be in the queue as it gives you time to decide what to order. In general, the choices includes soupy noodles like pho or bun hue, vermicelli salad or rice with a choice of grilled meats, bahn mi filled with grill meat options and either fried spring rolls or summer rolls.

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The Boom went with a bahn mi with chargrilled pork (£3.50) and the fried spring rolls (£3.75) while I went for Beef Bun Hue (£6.50) and the summer roll (£3.75).

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The problem with eating lunch in the city is finding a place to sit. There are limited seats in City Caphe but as food were made to order, it was pretty stuffy in the shop. Most people bring their food back to the office but sometimes taking a break from the office setting relaxes the mind. Thanks to the Boom who found this peaceful and tranquil setting near the Guildhall.

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The Boom enjoyed his bahn mi. His one minor gripe is the bread could be lighter in texture.  Get the lady to go easy on the sriracha as Boom was scorched by the sauce half way through his sandwich.

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We shared both the rolls and Boom preferred my summer roll while I have yet to have mine as my Bun Hue was very generous portion wise, especially the thinly sliced beef. The fried spring rolls was served with a portion of nuoc cham while the summer roll was served with a different sauce.

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Once again, I’m always impressed when the herbs are provided in a separate container. In this instance, there was sliced chilies, basil and some beansprouts. I would have loved more beansprouts. Word of caution, for those of you who can’t take the heat, suggest you go for the pho rather then the bun hue.

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Cute pictorial to link Vietnamese words to the food it represents. Will definitely go back to City Caphe when I’m craving for soupy noodles.

City Caphe
17 Ironmonger Lane
London EC2V 8EY

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Thai Red Beef Curry – Bangkok Kitchen, London Bridge

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Had to run an errand and a trek to the Post Office was required. Remembered there was a small food truck next to the London Bridge Post Office and there a long queue the last time. Asian food stores with long queues always piqued by interest.

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Scoured around on the interweb, realised that the Bangkok Kitchen food truck is the offshoot of a small takeaway joint in the Southwark area which I came across during one of my walks around the area. This food truck only opens from 1200-1400hrs and all dishes are £4.50 served with either rice or noodles.

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There were 4 steamer trays on display today and I think there was a normal stir fry chicken, a Thai Red Beef Curry, Thai Green Chicken Curry and the last tray was filled with pad thai noodles. Chicken is not my meat of choice so beef it shall be! Well, at least I hope it’s beef 🙂

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Like Mama Thai, you can help yourself to the condiments on offer to customise your meal to the way you like it. Chose from crushed peanuts and a few different chili sauces. They were thoughtful enough to provide small containers so you can keep your condiments separate from the main meal. I really appreciate such small gestures, its the little thought that counts!

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So at the bargain price of £4.50, was the Thai Red Beef Curry any good? I have to say that it’s not half bad. The curry was thick and rich with coconut and spiced generously with star anise and kaffir lime leaves as well as the usual culprits that makes up a Thai red curry paste. On the veg front, you have big slices of green capsicum and crunchy green beans. Like the fact that the veg are not cooked to a mush. Both the beef and rice portion were more than generous and the only complain I have is that the beef was a tad chewy. Then again, you pay for what you get; don’t expect top grade filet steak at £4.50.

Bangkok Kitchen
Next to London Bridge Post Office
19A Borough High Street
London SE1 9SF