Sunday, 18 December 2011

City Caphe

Hidden in a tiny lane near Bank station is where City Caphe a Vietnamese cafe lies. It serves a range of Vietnamese classics such as Pho, meat dishes with rice or vermicelli noodles and Bahn-Mi.


Vietnamese – noodles, rice and baguettes.
£6-7 (Average). Please note, cash only for £15 and under.
Yes. (Without all the science.)
 17 Ironmonger Lane, EC2V 8EY
Opening times
 Mon-Fri 7:30am-4pm
Eat in/Takeaway
Both but mainly take-away as limited seats.
Recommended dishes
Pho noodles and the chargrilled pork bun (Vermicelli salad)/com (rice)

Lunch analysis
I am delighted that this has opened right at the heart of the City. As we all know, rent at the City of London is extremely high and therefore, the types of lunch eateries we see are the large chains offering the usual expensive sandwiches and soups found everywhere in the city. Yawn! So if you after something different then you have come to the right place.
City Caphe is tucked away on a narrow lane on Ironmonger Lane. Large queues form on a Monday-Friday lunchtime stretching to outside. I advise to come at 12pm on the dot or after 1pm if you want  to avoid the queues.
For those that have not tried these dishes before, it is worth giving up your sandwich to sample City Caphe’s menu. (Please read at the bottom of this page where I have included a summary of what some of these dishes are if you are new to Vietnamese cuisine.)
There are only a few seats in the cafe and so take-away is the most popular option. Queues start forming very early on from 12:15-1pm so get there early if possible. This place is all served by women, which clearly shows who is boss around here!
For a more filling lunch, I would recommend the rice dish box a combination of meat, salad and rice with the sweet and chilli sauce that comes with it. I really like this one as the pork has very nice caramelised taste.
Another, close favourite is the Pho. Especially now that the weather is very chilly, a Pho really goes down nicely. The broth is very clear and rich with stock flavour – making this a very comforting lunch. I would recommend this if you wanted something light but healthy. I tend to go for the chicken but the beef is equally tasty. There is the spicy lemongrass soup broth option for those that like it HOT!
Here is a picture of the Chicken Pho I had the other day.

Broadening the cuisine in the City, is certainly a positive step for City lunch consumers!
Quick guide to Vietnamese cuisine/ Glossary of words above:
Pho – bowl of rice noodles in clear soup broth.
Vermicelli noodles (Bun) - thin rice noodles and is served cold at City Caphe. This usually comes with a sweet and sour sauce like a salad vinaigrette that you can pour over the noodles.
Bahn-Mi – French-Vietnamese style baguettes.
Com – Rice.

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