Har Gau


Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Cafe East (version 2.0), Surrey Quays Leisure Park

If you’re interested in reading the review of Cafe East prior to the upgrade to version 2.0, click here.

Cafe East, Surrey Quays Leisure Park

To give a brief summary of Cafe East version 1.0 and 2.0:

Version 1.0 – Approximately 8 tables, 3 staff, large portions of food, and a toilet that gave you an authentic experience of a Vietnamese side-alleyway
Version 2.0 – Located in an ex-pub, approximately 20 or more tables, many waiting staff, and beautifully presented food (with a small price increase)

Cafe East, Surrey Quays Leisure Park - Interior

The previous Cafe East opened for lunch from 12 to 2pm, so there was often a rush to get there, with many visits consisting of us looking in from outside a closed restaurant, hungry. The new Cafe East seems to have extended to normal opening hours, presumably because it is located on a leisure park, alongside chain restaurants and a cinema.

Cafe East, Surrey Quays Leisure Park - Menu

The menu is pretty much unchanged, although looking slightly brighter than in the previous place. Prices have gone up by 30p or so, depending on the dish, but hey, if this keeps the toilet looking that clean, it’s worth it.

Cafe East, Surrey Quays Leisure Park - Leen chee kang drink

I ordered this as it looked like grass jelly from the picture on the menu, but it resembled another dessert that I like, so it was all OK.

Cafe East, Surrey Quays Leisure Park - Goi cuon £4.50

Goi cuon £4.50 (Summer rolls)

The portion sizes here are still generous, and if you’re not looking to spend much here, a main dish alone should be sufficiently filling. This is one of our favourite dishes though, so we just had to order one to share. The prawns were fresh, and the rolls were filled with pork, noodles and prawn, bril for dipping in the sauce accompanying the dish.

Cafe East, Surrey Quays Leisure Park - Side vegetables

Fresh beansprouts for the noodles, still don’t like the green stuff though (basil?)

Cafe East, Surrey Quays Leisure Park -

Bun bo hue £6.50 (Vermicelli rice noodle, spicy soup, beef brisket, lemon grass, chicken and prawn)

Most of the time when I order this here, the waiter or waitress will repeat ‘Spicy?’ after I’ve placed my order. Maybe they’ve been asked to ensure we know it’s spicy, maybe people order this and then express surprise that it’s spicy?

The soup is spicy, and full of beefy-flavour. I asked for the toppings to be a mixture of prawn and chicken, and they were certainly generous when giving out the four large, very fresh prawns with the noodle. Tasty soup, huge portions, I like this.

Cafe East, Surrey Quays Leisure Park - Bun bo xao £7

Bun bo xao £7 (Vermicelli rice noodle with stir-fried beef)

We really liked this dish at the previous Cafe East, so it was a must-try at the new place. Glad to say that the standard has remained, perhaps even slightly improved due to the better presentation they have here. The portion size for this dish has increased, or maybe it’s the size of the plate but whatever the case, it’s enough for one hungry person. Filling, tasty, and reasonably priced.

Cafe East, Surrey Quays Leisure Park

I didn’t draw that arrow, but we took this pic as it seems to be the last souvenir from the pub that was not removed when Cafe East moved in.

Would I return to this place? Most certainly so, really like it.

Google Map to here!

View Larger Map
Cafe East on Urbanspoon


KimHo said...

Good to know a favourite, after some reno, is still the same good old place you knew. Over here, a lot of those shops that have gone renovations and/or moved to other locations, have not been able to keep it up - either the prices have been horribly jacked up but also food has gone downhill. Hmmmmmmm.... Probably I should do more revisits myself...

monchichi said...

We were pleased to know it was still the same portions and quality, perhaps you should go check your restaurants out also! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up on Cafe East. Feeling like a lover long gone, brought back to me. Went to Song Que as alternative last weekend but nothing beats this place.

Keep up the blogs! Love those piccies.

Anonymous said...

I was glad that Cafe East has now reopened! although it seemed like they had some sort of management problem. The food was good, but has anyone tried moma pho? Cafe East ex location?

Chris said...

This place really is fantastic. Surprisingly it's actually better than the original one on Evelyn Street!

I've since been back Moma Pho and it is still as good as it always was.

I'd give the original 9.5/10 and the new one 10/10.

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