Cay Tre | Hoxton

Cay Tre was recommended to me earlier on in the year; I'd been meaning to go for ages and when my birthday meal came around, I knew exactly where I wanted to go.

Cay Tre offers up delicious Vietnamese street food in a restaurant setting with a couple of restaurants dotted around the capital - we opted for the Hoxton branch! The restaurant iteself is quite cosy to say the least, with a mixture of big groups and couples of people dining out, there was a great buzz in the restaurant and all the staff were well on hand to help with any queries about the best way to order and to provide more drinks when required!

Shay and I opted to go for a few sharing dishes and then a main to share with some rice bowls and although we came to a decision quite quickly over our icey cold beers, making the choice was not easy. I could eat pretty much everything on that menu. The waitress took our order and exclaimed that we would get a few dishes at a time to allow us to really enjoy everything without there being too much food in front of us, which I like.

First up was Chef Vinh's Beef Sticks which were like big chunks of minced beef - slightly difficult to eat with chopsticks - filled with flavour and a gorgeous dipping sauce. With the beef arrived our Kaichoy Greens, which are cooked in the wok with chilli and garlic - this was one of my favourite dishes. Simple yet so effectively fresh with a brilliant spicy kick to it. Admittedly the chilli did burn a little but I'm a-ok with that.

Then arrived the dish we were both looking forward to the most, the Chilli Salt & Pepper Softshell Crab. Ever since the supper club last year, we've been obsessed with soft shell crab and this one was absolutely to die for. So amazingly salty and crispy and completely tender on the inside. I know this sounds pretentious but it was a delight to eat.

After a little rest and a few more swigs of beer, we were ready for the main to share, we went for the Phu Quoc Pepper Squid and a small bowl of jasmine rice each. The dish was lovely and I'm glad we had it, but I don't think anything was going to live up to the soft-shell crab, but notable points were there was LOTS of squid... like loads and a nice amount of wokked veggies too.

We were in and out of Cay Tre within just under and hour and a half, so it's not the sort of place you can stick around and chat and although as mentioned there was a good buzz in the room, it was also slightly hectic, we were sat next to the tiny gangway with the waiters and waitresses coming through every minute or so. Not a major gripe just y'know, it happened.

But overall we were super impressed with Cay Tre, the food was amazing and for the price? Well the whole lot including a few beers and service came to about £50 - and my belly was truly content on that too. I can't wait to go back and try the Pho before we go away so I can compare it with the real deal in a few months time eep!